If you’re like more than a quarter of your fellow West Virginians, you’ve more than likely logged onto a social networking site in the last month or so, perhaps even today already. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter connect users from all over the world instantly through personalized web profiles. Facebook alone claims to have more than 400 million active users worldwide–which is an astonishing segment of the computer-savvy market.
Although these sites are handy for connecting with friends, they are also causing quite a number of problems for personal injury victims who post about their recovery process. Even if you’ve “protected” your profile from outside visitors, insurance companies are finding ways to infiltrate your profile to check up on you. In turn, they can use personal information against you to deny your insurance claim or stop long-term payments.
For example, if you’re injured in an auto accident in West Virginia and you post a status update that says you’re “recovering just fine” on your Facebook page, an insurance adjustor may be able to use this as evidence against paying for your claim. Similarly, if you brag about how you scammed the insurance company or lied in your testimony to an adjustor, this can also be used against you. Even posting pictures of physical activities can harm your case if you’ve claimed that you’re disabled. In extreme cases involving brain injury and the like, the mere frequency of your Facebook use can send a red flag up to insurance companies, so personal injury attorneys advise that you simply stay off the computer and keep your mouth shut about a case, even after it’s closed.