If you become an injury victim because someone else was negligent, and if you seek compensation for your medical bills from that person’s insurance company, don’t be surprised if the company disputes your claim.
If your injuries are severe, and if you seek full compensation for your healthcare expenses and lost wages, it’s likely to be a substantial amount, and some insurance companies will try to avoid paying. This is where an Evansville personal injury law firm can help.
Don’t make any statement to an insurance company if you’ve been injured and need compensation. Your words could be twisted and used as a pretext to deny your claim. You’ll need to have an attorney do the talking on your behalf.
IF YOU ARE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES?
If you’ve been injured because another person was careless, after you have been treated by a medical professional – that’s the first priority – you must speak about your legal rights and options with an experienced Evansville personal injury attorney.
How far will particular insurance companies go to avoid paying a substantial amount for an injury claim? For starters, insurance adjusters and investigators look at what claimants post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
HOW DO SOME INSURANCE COMPANIES HANDLE SUBSTANTIAL CLAIMS?
If you are injured in any accident that happens because another person was careless, when you file an injury claim with an insurance company, that company may allege that you are either exaggerating your personal injury or injuries or that your entire story is a fabrication.
If an insurance company can establish that you’re either uninjured or that your injury is not as serious as you claim it is, the company may deny your injury claim or offer you a considerably lesser compensation figure.
When victims of negligence file injury claims, investigators for insurance companies now routinely comb through those victims’ social media accounts seeking photographs, videos, comments, and anything else that might constitute incriminating evidence.
WHAT TYPE OF MATERIAL SHOULD YOU AVOID POSTING ONLINE?
For instance, if you claim that you are unable to work since you’re temporarily disabled, and there’s a Facebook or YouTube video that depicts you playing tennis or doing yard work, you can expect that your injury claim will be denied.
Posting online is too tempting for a lot of us to resist. But if you’re an injured victim of negligence, any videos, photos, or words that you post online will be found by the insurance company and its attorneys.
Privacy settings really don’t help, and nothing is ever “really” deleted from the internet. An insurance company’s attorney can access what you’ve posted online – and if necessary, that attorney will obtain a subpoena to find incriminating evidence against you.
IF YOU’RE A VICTIM OF NEGLIGENCE, WHAT SHOULD YOU PRESUME?
If you are an injured victim of negligence, and you become the plaintiff in a personal injury case, or if you’re a party to any other type of legal dispute, you should presume that whatever you’ve posted online will be viewed by the other side’s lawyers and by the judge if the case goes to trial.
If you are seeking compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, you can’t even post something like “What an awesome day” or “I feel good today.” Most personal injury lawyers, in fact, would recommend that you don’t post anything online until your claim is resolved.
Also, be cautious about sites like Foursquare and Facebook that let you “check in” at various locations. If you claim to be in constant, chronic pain, but you’re “checking in” on a regular basis at the gym, the beach, or the dance club, your injury claim will probably be disputed.
It’s probably best, while your claim is pending, if you do not upload any photographs or videos to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook.
WHAT ELSE WILL INSURANCE INVESTIGATORS SCRUTINIZE?
Your own accounts are not all that you have to be concerned with. An insurance company’s investigators and lawyers will look at the posts and pages of your friends as well, and that’s another good reason to avoid social media entirely until your injury claim is resolved.
Let’s say, for example, that you inform your Facebook followers and friends that you’re “feeling great.” Many of us want to put constructive posts on Facebook – we want to be encouraging, and we don’t want to “bring other people down.”
But if your personal injury case goes to trial, a jury might not see it that way. That’s why personal injury lawyers generally advise clients to refrain from using social media until the matter is resolved. Just a few innocent words could hurt your case.
SHOULD YOU DELETE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS?
If you are filing a personal injury claim, discuss your online accounts with your personal injury attorney. Your attorney may or may not recommend canceling those accounts entirely. Facebook accounts may be deactivated temporarily and recovered when your claim is resolved.
Here’s what you need to know about your social media pages when you pursue compensation for a personal injury:
1. Do not post anything online about the accident, your injury, or your claim.
2. Do not upload any videos or photographs while your claim is pending. Even if you think what you are posting is entirely innocent, don’t post it.
3. Anyone looking only at your Facebook page and your other online accounts shouldn’t even know that you’ve filed a personal injury claim.
WHAT ABOUT ACCEPTING NEW “FRIENDS” ONLINE?
When you file a claim, you might receive friend requests from persons who are strangers – “stealth” requests. Be careful. An insurance investigator pretending to be the friend of a friend could be trying to gather evidence against you.
The wise strategy is simply to refuse to accept friend requests online while your claim is pending.
You should probably maintain that approach for a month or two once your claim is resolved. Don’t brag about how much you recovered or the vacation that you intend to take.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN AFTER YOUR CASE HAS CONCLUDED?
Injury settlements usually include a confidentiality clause, and if you don’t adhere to the terms of your settlement, you might lose that settlement. The smart move is simply to refrain from talking to anyone about your case after your claim is settled.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer information, entertainment, and a number of other benefits, but when you’ve been injured because someone else was negligent, the hazards of using social media are greater than the benefits.
If you become a victim of negligence here in Indiana, seek medical treatment immediately. After you’ve been treated, obtain the legal representation and advice that you’ll need from an experienced Evansville personal injury attorney.
If another person has accidentally injured you in the state of Indiana, you are entitled by law to compensation, and you have the right to a good lawyer’s help.