Over the last five years social media has grown to define how most of use the internet. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have become synonymous with ‘being on the internet’.
A large part of social media’s success lies in its flexibility. It can be used for anything from catching up with friends to marketing your products. It’s a very powerful tool.
Facebook and Twitter used as evidence against compensation claims
Recently, it seems that claims departments and insurance companies have begun waking up to the possibility that they can use social media to build evidence against claimants. Many personal injury lawyers and compensation claims services have been warning their clients to be very careful what they post on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Gathering evidence against claimants is nothing new. In the past, insurance companies have gone to great lengths to gather evidence which might suggest that the claimant’s injuries aren’t as serious as the claim suggests. Obviously, if this evidence carries weight in the courts, it can greatly reduce the compensation payout to the claimant.
Social media makes it very easy for companies to track a person’s online interactions. Just because you’ve used Facebook’s privacy settings doesn’t necessarily mean that all your information will stay private. Also, monitoring social media channels is very cost effective. It gives insurance companies and claims departments a wealth of information which they would otherwise have only acquired by using expensive research resources.
Personal injury lawyers have begun warning their clients of this behavior in order to help protect their claim. Though some may argue that if you are making a genuine claim then you should have nothing to hide, it is actually quite sensible to take precautions. Information shared on social media leaves a lot of room for interpretation. By taking a status update or message and presenting it out of context, an insurance company or claims department might be able to build convincing evidence against you. If you are in the process of making a personal injury claim, you should always be cautious.
If you are in the process of making a compensation claim you should be extremely careful what you post on your chosen social media channels. By all means still use them, just be mindful that people are watching – not just your friends.