When you apply for a job, don’t you think the potential boss is going to “Google” you, read your blog posts, check out your Facebook page, look at your MySpace page, and check your Tweets? These days people who meet often precede any dates with a bit of “Googling”. If your daughter starts dating a new guy, are you going to “Google” him?
The same is true when you have an injury claim. The insurance adjuster is going to “Google” you. If your case is going on and your deposition is coming the attorney taking the deposition has “Googled” you. The insurance company and the attorney will know everything about you that is posted on the Internet.
Whatever the case, your social media profiles can make a bad reflection on you. Photos, status updates, and comments can seriously harm your injury claim if you do not use discretion when posting.
After an injury, the only advice is to stay away from social media sites altogether. In fact, we recommend you just take down whatever is up. Yep, that is because it can be completely misconstrued and used against you.
If there is no information about you on the Internet, nothing from your past can be used against you. If you have posted information that is not 100% accurate or is any way misleading, that information may be used against you.
Insurance adjuster’s generally see the goal of their job as to pay you as little as possible for your injury claim. If you make incriminating information available on the internet it can be used by the adjuster to justify paying you less.
If your Facebook page talks about your love for car racing, and your injury was from a collision where you and the other driver blame each other for speeding and running a red light, don’t you think your Facebook information is going to be used against you?
The BEST advice when you have an insurance claim is take down all of your personal information. Just take it down. While that is probably not 100% realistic in this day and age, you can still be extremely careful. If you are using your social media sites there are a few simple rules you can follow.
- Only accept friend requests from people you know. An insurance adjuster may send you a friend request in hopes of gaining access to your personal information. You wouldn’t be the first person this has happened to.
- Check your Privacy Settings. Facebook and others have privacy setting. In Facebook, this means that only those on your friends list will be able to view your status updates.
- When uploading photos, be selective on which photos are appropriate. Set up filters that only allow friends to see your photo albums. Facebookers should select the “Only Me” option for people who can view tagged photos.
- Don’t join groups with compromising names and/or discussions. If the nice lady down the street who goes to church twice a week wouldn’t like it don’t be part of it.
- Remove yourself from search results on Facebook by selecting “Only Friends” under search visibility.
- Also remove yourself from showing up in Google’s search results by going to the privacy settings page and uncheck the box under Public Search Listing.
- Keep your case private. Do not post any photos of your accident or give any information regarding your injury. If you need to send a message use e-mail, snail mail, or make a phone call.
Insurance adjusters are always searching for information to be used against you during your injury claim and they can twist information to make it seem like you have done something wrong even when you haven’t. So be careful out there on the internet.