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How Truck Accident Cases Are Harmed by Social Media Posts

Why Social Media Causes Problems With Truck Accident Claims

For a truck accident lawyer moving forward with a case, social media posts can be both blessings and curses. A truck accident attorney is looking for posts that indicate that an operator did something negligent like falling asleep at the wheel, and on the other hand, he or she also worries about clients posting pictures of themselves having fun on a Jet Ski while vacationing. A 2016 survey indicated that nearly a quarter of lawyers use social media to conduct investigations. Insurance companies are increasingly using social media posts to deny or reduce truck accident claims. Here's what you need to know to protect your rights.

Where Insurers Look

If you're a client attempting to get compensation for a claim, it may pay to keep your social media posting under control as things move forward. You can expect friends and family members to ask questions about the incident, but it's prudent to limit your answers. Insurance companies will look for postings on a wide range of publicly available platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Tech-savvy insurance adjusters will even make a point of setting up social media alerts tied to the profiles of claimants in order to spot when someone might be having too good of a time or seem to be a little too ambulatory. There are also no laws in place preventing this sort of action. You might think it's possible to hide behind the privacy settings or just post to friends' accounts, but companies are going to great lengths these days to identify posts on social media.
truck accident claims

Acceptance of Fault

A sense of humility often shows up when people have discussions about truck accidents as a brush with death or serious harm can give someone a fresh perspective on life. You might say, "I'm shocked that I drove into that semi!" An adjuster, however, is likely to want to open a line of questioning about what exactly you meant when you said that you drove into the semi.

Our law firm gives clients the chance to work with an Allentown truck accident attorney, and we strongly encourage our clients to avoid posting statements that might be construed as taking on responsibility. Even a slight questioning on your part of what really happened can provide a line of attack as a company tries to deny or reduce truck accident claims.

Bad-Mouthing the Insurance Company

It's easy to get upset about how slowly a claim is being processed, and some insurance companies do in fact use deliberately glacial processes to pressure claimants into settling for reduced amounts. Many people now create social media posts to complain about the shortcomings of businesses, but the time to do that isn't while advancing a truck accident case.

In the simplest instances, bad-mouthing the insurance carrier can be interpreted as acting in bad faith. Making more extreme statements, like saying you'll take them for everything they've got, may be considered an indication you intend to commit insurance fraud. Our practice provides the support of an Allentown truck accident attorney, and we stress the importance of keeping emotions in check.

Confidentiality

Some settlements will include confidentiality provisions, and it can be very difficult to reel in any remarks you might have previously made on social media. As a rule of thumb, you should assume that once anything has been posted to the internet, it will be there to be found until the end of time.

There are also concerns about confidentiality regarding medical records. In addition to providing information that shouldn't be disclosed, you may also accidentally prejudice the testimony of a witness. The adjuster can then cite the posts you made and ask the witness whether he or she really saw you get hurt or if he or she was merely parroting what he or she had seen on social media.

Establishing History

Your history of postings is one of the trickier matters to deal with. Any good truck accident lawyer will advise that deleting posts that might not cast you in the best light is unwise. Conversely, the insurance company will scan your social media profiles for proof of pre-existing conditions, such as complaints about a sore back from two years ago. If they find evidence of reckless behavior, like posts mentioning run-ins with police on traffic duty, then adjusters might also present this as evidence.

Demonstrating Feelings

Online posts supply a lot of evidence that an insurance carrier can use to dispute claims that a person was actually feeling bad after an accident. This can catch claimants off guard because most people tend to present a happier and braver face in their online lives than they do when by themselves. If you have, for example, stated that you felt severely depressed in the days following an incident, a few postings indicating that you were happy during that time period can be cited as evidence that the situation was less upsetting than you claimed.

Seek Advice

Getting professional counsel is an important first step to take. Don't post anything on social media before you've spoken with a lawyer. Absolutely don't post or remove anything from your accounts until you've had a serious conversation about the implications.

If you're worried about whether you'll get a fair deal from an insurance company following an incident with a heavy commercial vehicle, you can discuss your concerns with an Allentown truck accident attorney. Our practice is licensed to represent people from all over Pennsylvania, and we maintain an office in Lehigh Valley. To learn more or receive your consultation, contact us today at (610) 435-7400.

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