In today’s digital age, sharing our lives on social media has become second nature for most people. While it enriches our lives and helps us stay connected with loved ones, it also presents potential pitfalls, especially when it comes to personal injury compensation claims.

Social Media and Compensation Claims

When someone files a compensation claim after suffering an injury, it’s crucial to recognize that insurance companies, which assess these claims, often scour the claimant’s social media profiles. Their goal? To find material that could be used to challenge or even deny the claim. Insurance company investigators are tasked with ensuring the legitimacy of claims, guarding against fraud, and verifying the authenticity of both the injury and its impact on a person’s life. This includes using social media as a form of modern-day surveillance. 

People share an abundance of information on social media platforms. From photos and descriptions of vacations, parties, and weddings to various aspects of their daily lives, it’s all out there for the world to see. Some individuals even tend to “overshare,” discussing every detail of their lives, including their personal injury claims following accidents, such as motor vehicle collisions. 

The Risks of Oversharing

This level of openness on social media can backfire when it comes to compensation claims. It can inadvertently suggest that the claimed injury, as well as its impact on one’s ability to work and overall lifestyle, may not be as severe as originally stated. In essence, your social media presence could inadvertently undermine your claim’s credibility. 

Using Social Media During a Compensation Claim

While we don’t recommend shutting down your social media accounts entirely, exercising extreme caution is essential when making a personal injury claim. Here’s how you should approach social media: 

  • Limit Physical Activity Posts: Refrain from posting pictures or videos that depict strenuous physical activities like sports, hiking, or strenuous house renovations. Such posts can be misconstrued as evidence against your injury claim. 
  • Recovery and Rehabilitation: Avoid sharing material that suggests you’re not following your recovery or rehabilitation plan properly. This can negatively impact your claim’s progress. 
  • Avoid Liability Admissions: Be cautious about commenting on posts or replies related to your injury. Even seemingly innocent comments could be construed as an admission of liability. 
  • Maintain Confidentiality: Keep all discussions about your claim confidential between you and your legal representative. 

A Case Example: Digby v The Compass Institute Inc and Anor

In the 2015 case of Digby v The Compass Institute Inc and Anor, a claimant’s Facebook account played a pivotal role. Ms. Digby claimed she had developed a tremor in her right arm and hand after a workplace incident, along with psychiatric injury due to its impact on her lifestyle. However, evidence from her Facebook account raised doubts about her claim, showcasing social activity that contradicted her assertion of social isolation caused by the injury. Her credibility was called into question, resulting in a significantly reduced compensation amount. 

Seek Legal Expertise

If this information resonates with your situation, it’s crucial to consult with compensation lawyers who specialise in personal injury claims. We can provide guidance on how social media material may be used as evidence to dispute your claim and help you strategize the best approach to this challenging issue. With our expertise, you can navigate the complexities of your personal injury claim and work toward the best possible outcome. 

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