Personal Injury FAQ: The insurance company wants my social media accounts after my accident. What should I do?
The Information You Need from a Personal Injury Lawyer Longwood, FL Offers
If you have recently filed a personal injury claim or lawsuit, your social media posts could have an impact on the outcome of the case. Over the last few years, it has become increasingly frequent for a personal injury claimant’s social media activity to negatively affect the outcome. Ask a personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL about this and they might very well agree.
How Insurance Companies Work
A car accident or any other type of accident can be traumatic and cause everyone involved to feel angry, stressed, and frustrated. Without a Longwood FL personal injury lawyer on your side, dealing with insurance companies can significantly add to these emotions. In general, the more serious the injuries the more likely the insurance adjusters will try anything to avoid paying victims a fair settlement. The reason for this is because that dollar amount will probably be significant.
The Value of Hiring a Longwood FL Personal Injury Lawyer
A good rule to follow is that when an accident involves severe, life threatening, or fatal injuries of your loved one, you should consider hiring a Longwood FL personal injury lawyer. They can provide legal guidance to protect you against the nefarious actions of insurance companies. Insurance companies have many tools and tricks that they use against claimants in order to defend their bottom line. They seek to pay pennies on the dollar and nothing more. One of their tactics is to use their own investigators to follow and record the plaintiff’s activities after the accident. Another tactic that is becoming more common is to monitor this person’s social media accounts. Their goal is to gather evidence that can be used against the claimant in order to deny their personal injury claim and pay them nothing.
The Dangers of Social Media
Using social media to investigate accident victims is particularly advantageous for the insurance company as there is minimal cost in doing so. Furthermore, they often achieve the outcome they wanted. It is not unheard of for an insurance company to create dummy accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to “friend” the claimant to get information to use against them.
The Discovery Phase and Social Media
Nowadays, a personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL may request social media account information of victims during the discovery phase of a personal injury case. Although state laws vary, many have made it clear that these requests must adhere to the general rules of discovery. For example, the request should be reasonable and relevant to the case.
Whether or not an insurance company is granted access to your social media posts will depend on their request and its relevance to the case. A personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL might tell you that any posts added to your profiles after the accident could possibly be used as evidence against you.
Social media posts can be taken out of context. You may be best off to delete all of your social media accounts at least until after your injury claim is resolved. In addition, make sure you’re not included on anyone else’s accounts either, especially in photographs as those can be discovered as well. If you insist on keeping one or more accounts open, here are some tips for minimizing your vulnerability:
- Always think about what you are saying before hitting “Post”.
- Consider how others might view your post.
- How might the post make you look if you are on the witness stand later?
- Avoid making claims that can be proved false.
- Don’t exaggerate your injuries.
- If you’re at all in doubt, don’t post anything.
- Be cautious of being “tagged” or included in other peoples’ posts.
- Consider changing your privacy options to limit who can see your posts.
- Ask to receive notifications before anyone tags you.
- Remember that images, video, posts, and other activity is forever on the internet one way or another and experts know how to find it.
The above tips might not stop an insurance company or their lawyers from asking for your social media pages, but it could prevent them from gathering evidence without going through a lengthy discovery period. To talk with a Longwood FL personal injury lawyer about your accident and recovering your damages from those responsible, call David Bate at (800) 360-7015.
Get Help from a Legal Professional
If you suffered from injuries in a recent accident, and are deliberating as to whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer Longwood, FL can provide, it can help to know the stages of a personal injury case. There is a rhythm to the typical personal injury lawsuit, and consulting with a personal injury lawyer about that progression can be enormously helpful to you.
One of the first steps you should take, if you haven’t yet, is to speak with and hire a personal injury lawyer Longwood, FL residents depend on who may help you understand this legal territory. David & Philpot, P.L is well-acquainted with the needs of clients who have experienced accidents and with analyzing potential claims. To learn more about how we may help you, give us a call at (407) 830-5050.
Personal Injury Cases: What to Expect
As noted, the very first step you should take in proceeding with a personal injury claim is hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL. He or she may be vital to nearly every kind of personal injury case, especially if serious injuries and larger claims are involved.
After hiring a personal injury lawyer Longwood, FL has to offer, the two of you may work together through the following stages:
- Review. This is when your attorney asks you about the accident — how it occurred, what medical conditions resulted, and what treatments you received. By understanding your injuries completely, your lawyer should be better able to evaluate what grounds you have for a lawsuit.
- Making Demands. If it turns out you have a valid claim, your attorney may start strategizing how to make demands on the insurance carriers. Most attorneys prefer to wait until accident victims have reached the maximum possible level of improvement, and recovered as much as possible, before making demands. After this stage, if attempts at negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer may follow up by filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
- Lawsuit and Discovery. Once your attorney files a lawsuit, the discovery phase begins. During this time, lawyers start questioning one another as well as third parties and witnesses regarding the opposing party’s claims. This can last anywhere from six months to one year.
- Mediation, Negotiation and Trial. After the process of discovery ends, settlement becomes an option. Keep in mind that your case is likely to settle outside of court; mediation is the catalyst that tends to make this happen. Mediation is when both parties — lawyers and clients alike — go before a mediator and attempt to reach a settlement. However, if mediation is not successful, the case may go to trial.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Longwood, FL Families Know and Trust
Working through personal injury claims can be a prolonged, challenging process, and to do it successfully, having a Longwood FL personal injury lawyer can be key. You want to ensure the legal professional you hire is someone with experience and who is familiar with claims similar to yours. David & Philpot, P.L. is a firm you can trust to be committed to your case. For an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer Longwood, FL residents know they can rely on, call us today.