Social Media Posts Can Affect Your Claim

Claims & reputation can be affected by status updates, pics & Tweets

For more than 20 years, I have warned clients about to file lawsuits and insurance claims to consider the appearance of their lifestyles and remarks made to others. Common sense and your mother's advice remind us that what others see and use to refute a case goes a long way to undermining legitimate claims.

Facebook updates that run contrary to claims, doctors' restrictions, statements or sworn testimony have derailed many a plaintiff in personal injury, workers compensation, divorce and even tax cases. Privacy settings protect you as much as they do college students displaying trophy pics of their first kegger. If it has been posted, you can assume that it will be found by a forensic surfer and may be admissable evidence. Recently, Judges have allowed Defense attorneys access to these sites and past history.

If your claims include physical limitations that leaves you nearly housebound, please think about the phone in your pocket or purse and the GPS in your vehicle. We are fortunate to be living in an age of such connectivity. It's great to think that a 911 call made from your cell in a snowstorm can help others find you. It's not so great if this tracking data is used to discount your claims of immobility.

Likewise, consider that social media elements and apps that show where you are to followers.

This advice carries over to how any mature, responsible person handles his/her public image, claims and information sharing. Social media is used to vet job applicants, prospective jurors and witnesses. Jurors have been found to surf and tweet during their time on jury duty to see if the injured person is legit.

Companies are reviewing policies regarding use of social media. The line between your private and professional life has never been fuzzier. Know your exposure.