How Social Media Can Hurt a Personal Injury Claim

It’s very important that a “social media talk” is now among the list of all those other milestone talks that every kid gets from his or her parents. It’s unavoidable, and not talking about it may put you and your child at risk. Censorship is now frowned upon in the social media world, and your web perception of being cool or not is solely based off of the things you post. The more you reveal- the better. There have been plenty of cases in the past few years with the rise of social media where people post something that causes them or someone else harm.

For example, there was a ten-year-old girl this past year who posted about her and her family leaving for a beach vacation for two weeks. Her parents were completely unaware of this, and when they returned to their home after the vacation their house had been broken into through the back door. Over $60,000 worth of items were stolen. They ended up catching the two men who did it, and they confessed that they lurk on social media for people posting about leaving for vacation so that they can find their address and break into their house.  Another everyday story of the ever-present social media in today’s society happened just a few weeks ago in Florida.

This latest social media dilemma involves a Facebook post by college student Dana Snay that caused her father to lose $80,000. The money was from a settlement he won in an age-discrimination lawsuit against his previous employer. Patrick Snay’s agreement in the settlement included a confidentiality clause that prohibited him or the employer from talking about the case. Although Dana’s profile was set t o private, the post slowly made its way back to the lawyers who settled the case. Because the Snay family violated the confidentiality clause, the $80,000 settlement was tossed out. Although this isn’t a personal injury claim, the same circumstances hold true. Social media has affected plenty of my client’s claims.

When someone is seriously injured after an accident, the chances are high that they have a lot of time of their hands. Between not working and laying around during the recovery process, social media becomes a common way to make the time pass by. I have had clients post things on social media that they think only their friends can see, so they feel free to post about their injuries, the accident and anything else related to the claim. Believe it or not- the insurance companies have the amazing abilities to not only find all of these posts, but to then use them against you in your personal injury claim. If you say one thing to the insurance adjustor and then another thing on social media, you’re going to run into some major roadblocks with your personal injury claim.

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas
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