Are you a victim of a case of personal injury? There is a certain step you need to take before searching for West Palm Beach injury attorneys. The process might look like this: getting adequate treatment, calling West Palm Beach attorneys, and spending the required period of time to recover from the injury. Where in that chain of steps does social media come in?

In the priority of things here, your health is important. Immediately, after an accident, you should seek adequate treatment, ‘safety first’ should be the watchword. If you now decide to go to social media to post pictures even before seeking treatment, you are putting the horse before the cart. In fact, this will seem like you are not concerned about your health at all. But we are in an attention-driven world.

You want to tell your friends the latest happenings around you. You want to be liked. You want to earn some sympathy, a lot of likes and a lot of followers to make Mahatma Gandhi bow at your feet. Big mistake! Social media can sabotage your injury claims if you don’t know.

Insurance companies do not want to pay you the amount you deserve in terms of compensation. Without the services of West Palm Beach attorneys, you might be given pennies and stipends instead of the required amount. To find a way to cut this cost, insurance companies have developed many ways to negotiate and bring your claim for compensation down. Your social media is one of their tools.

In this post, you will read extensively about how your actions on social media can be a hindrance in processing your claims. West Palm Beach attorneys will also explain all the details you are about to read.

Posting incriminating evidence on social media especially Instagram

Reading the new trend about the popular social media platform, Instagram, there are now more than 1 billion users, actively sharing videos and photos. In a month, the record says about 800 million of the users are posting. 71 percent of the total population of America is using the platform. And 60 percent of the said population check-in at least once in a day, uploading more than 95 million pictures between every 24 hours. Looking at this, it now seems Instagram is a fast way to connect with the majority in a short time. There is bad news for someone who is seeking personal injury claims.

Some pictures aren’t meant to be online for people who are putting up claims of injury. The pictures can be the beginning of the end of your claims of personal injury. A report, according to one case of personal injury in New York, shows that posting pictures online can sabotage your claims. In fact, that is worth rephrasing as ‘they will sabotage your claims.’

Reviewing a case of personal injury as an attorney: Smith V. Pasquale

Charisma Smith was involved in an accident and she posted pictures on her public Instagram account. The accident caused Smith an (alleged) enjoyment of her personal life. The pictures wouldn’t have been a course for concern, but some of the pictures show the woman engaging in activities that include walking on a sidewalk and mountain climbing. Also, Smith said in her claim that the injury was sustained to her knee and spine which had made enjoying life difficult.

During the case, Frank Pasquale is one of the defendants. He used the Instagram post of Smith to admit that if the pictures were truly that of Smith then her injury is not as serious as she claimed. He went further saying that Smith at some point after the accident changed her account from public to private. Seeing how this might turn out, Smith legal team ignored Pasquale motion and chose to seek a protective order instead.

John Higgitt, the court justice, denied the protective order, discovering that the motion to admit is about ‘clear-cut matters of facts.’ Smith was to answer if she has an Instagram account or not. If the incriminating pictures are checked, they could ruin Smith’s case.

Should this be allowed? Checking social media evidence in search of evidence?

Old tricks arrive in the modern age

Repeating what you have read earlier, insurance companies do not want to pay for what you claim. Lately, they have been defeating personal injury claims. They will aggressively find ways and tactics to cut down or completely ruin your claims. In that attempt, they will lift every table; turn up every rug to find evidence. And since one of the locations of finding information about someone is social media, they check that place too. 

Though we see surveillance as a debatable tactic used in the prosecution of crime, insurance companies depend on it in their effort to dismiss as many claims as they can. This might look wrong; a company that should be trusted with information is using surveillance tactics. The law, however, did not frown at it.

In fact, the law allows insurance companies to

  • Shoot video
  • Record audio
  • Capture still photos

So once an injured person can appear in public places, they can as well be taped. Does that mean you should be scared? No, there is a limit to the level of surveillance accessible to the insurance company. You are allowed to have complete privacy inside your house.

How does this information relate to social media?

Insurance companies are allowed access to your information in public places. For your social media account, if it is open to the public, insurance companies are allowed to access it. So, as you post pictures and videos on the internet and you make them public, know that this stuff can be accessed by many people and companies. It can serve as a tool for a defendant if you ever become a plaintiff.

Back to Smith’s case, once she has put the pictures online for public consumption, the defendant has the freedom to check them and used them to dismiss her claim. And so, she provided her opposition with the evidence which was used to defeat her.

Finally, it is advisable to be careful about what you put out there. West Palm Beach attorneys are always available to help in every situation. But they can not help when you have dug a trap for yourself and fallen completely inside as the example in this post. Stay safe. Whatever you put in a public place can be used to sabotage your claims.