The Impact of Social Media on a Personal Injury Claim

As most of us already know, social media is extremely popular these days. This is particularly true among younger Americans. More than 90% of millennials and approximately 78% of those in Generation X are active on social media, as are more than 60% of Baby Boomers. Overall, approximately three out of every four American adults are connected to at least one social media platform.

There is no doubt that social media has become an integral part of our lives; and connecting regularly with family and friends is a great way to stay in touch and keep updated on how everyone is doing. When someone is involved in a personal injury claim, however, being on social media is not such a great thing.

It is tempting after getting injured in a car accident, for example, to want to post about this on Facebook or another one of your favorite platforms to share details of the crash with those who might be concerned about what happened to you. It is easy to get on there and post photos, describe how the accident occurred, talk about your injuries, and make comments about the other driver. But this would be a big mistake.

How Social Media can Negatively Impact your Injury Claim

It is important to realize that when you are injured in an auto accident or suffer any other type of personal injury through no fault of your own, the other side or their insurer is going to do everything possible to diminish your claim. Their goal is to minimize their losses, which means that their best interests are not aligned with yours. They are going to look for evidence that supports their interests, and since most people use social media, insurance companies expend a lot of resources collecting information from the profiles of claimants.

Here are just a few of the ways that your social media profile can be used against you in a personal injury claim:

Comments can be Twisted to Imply Fault

After an auto accident or a similar type of traumatic event, people tend to say a lot of things in the heat of the moment without thinking them through. And for some individuals, apologizing is sort of a default reaction when something happens that hurts others or damages their property. Whenever someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is never a good idea to apologize verbally at the scene and/or admit any kind of fault for an accident, and it is even worse to put something like this in writing. As much as you would like to tell people what happened to you, make sure to never do it electronically, because your words will almost certainly be twisted and used against you.

Comments and Photos can Be Used to Diminish the Extent of your Physical Injuries

In addition to talking about how the accident happened, you might also be tempted to discuss your injuries. The problem is that people who are involved in an auto accident often do not know the full extent of their injuries until they have had a thorough medical exam. In addition, people do not always feel hurt right after an accident because of the adrenaline rush they experience, then later on, the pain starts setting in. These are just a couple reasons why it is never a good idea to discuss your injuries on social media. It should be noted additionally that photos you post online (or that you are tagged in) could also be used to argue that you are not really as hurt as you claim to be.

Comments and Photos can be Used to Refute Claims of Emotional Distress

When someone suffers a personal injury that was someone else?s fault, they are entitled to damages for intangible losses such as pain-and-suffering and psychological distress. But people rarely discuss the negative aspects of their lives on social media. When discussing injuries with loved ones, it is more common to put on a brave and optimistic face and put the best possible spin on what happened. Doing so electronically could again be used against you, as could photos that show you smiling, laughing, and having a good time with family or friends.

I Have Strong Privacy Settings, So I Have Nothing to Worry About, Right?

Wrong. You may think that everything mentioned above does not apply to you because you have the strongest possible privacy settings on your social media profile and the insurance company will never find your posts. What you may not realize is that insurance investigators have abundant resources and they are very tech savvy. Investigators have been known to uncover social media information even when the user thought it was impossible.

Aside from that, all electronic information is discoverable in a personal injury claim, meaning the other side could subpoena the information if they don?t find it on their own. The bottom line is you should assume that anything you post on social media (or get tagged in from someone else?s post) will be seen by the other side, and act accordingly.

How Should I Handle I Social Media Accounts after a Personal Injury?

The best thing to do after being injured and becoming involved in a personal injury claim is to unplug from social media until the case is over. But that said, we realize that not everyone will be able to quit cold turkey. If you want to remain active, at the very least, follow these guidelines:

  • Never post anything about your accident and/or ongoing personal injury case;
  • Never talk about any conversations you have had with your attorney or the insurance company;
  • Never talk about your injury, your medical diagnosis, your current condition, how you are feeling, or any related topic;
  • Never post any photos of you with loved ones on vacation or at any other fun event;
  • Adjust your settings so that others are not allowed to tag you on photos they take with you in them.

To sum it up, if you remain on social media, it is best to post information and photos and/or comment on other people?s posts as little as possible. Use social media as a tool to stay informed and updated on what others are doing; but refrain from posting any updates on what you are doing until after the case is over.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in an auto accident or you have suffered any other type of personal injury, you will need strong legal counsel by your side advocating forcefully for your rights and interests. If your injury occurred in Georgia, contact Ross Moore II, P.C. for assistance.

Call our Atlanta office today at (404) 491-8511 or message us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation and case assessment.

Understanding Policy Limits & Personal Injury Claims in Georgia

IS IT POSSIBLE TO COLLECT COMPENSATION FOR MY INJURIES BEYOND THE POLICY LIMIT?

Yes. There are 3 additional ways that you can attempt to pursue compensation beyond insurance policy limits:

  • By suing multiple liable parties
  • By taking advantage of umbrella policies (when someone is covered by multiple insurance companies)
  • By filing a direct lawsuit and removing the insurance company from the equation

In this blog post we explore these three different options in greater detail.

When someone is hurt in any sort of accident, filing a personal injury claim against the liable party will be necessary in order to collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. In an ideal situation, the wrongfully injured will get as much compensation as is needed and end up not losing a dime due to the whole ordeal. However, there is one factor in all cases that can put a damper on things and a hard cap on how much the injured can collect: insurance policy limits.

WHAT IS AN INSURANCE POLICY LIMIT?

When you purchase accident or liability insurance, the insurance carrier should inform you of the policy limit. Put simply, the policy limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out in the event you do something wrong and get sued for liability. Policy limits are in place for both out of court settlements and jury verdicts or judge?s awards.

For example: A driver has an insurance policy limit of $25,000. An accident causes $30,000 in damage. In the event of a payout, the insurance company will only provide $25,000. The remaining $5,000 will not be paid by that insurer, no matter where liability lies.

IMPORTANCE OF INSURANCE POLICY LIMITS IN GEORGIA

In most states, insurance companies of third parties liable for your accident do not have to tell you where the policy limit lies until it is reached, either in settlement or a jury verdict. This can be a bit of a headache as you might strive to collect as much as you need only to find out the limit is much lower than expected. Georgia pays favor to plaintiffs by allowing them to know the at-fault party?s policy limit. The injured party can request to know the limit within the first 60 days after the accident or collision, and the insurance party must comply.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CLAIM EXCEEDS POLICY LIMITS

An insurance policy limit is a significant road block in a personal injury claim but it is not entirely unpassable. While you cannot compel an insurance company to pay beyond its preset liability limit, there are other ways to collect excess damages.

Three methods might be possible to receive more damages than the liable party?s insurance policy allows:

  1. Multiple defendants: You can sue multiple liable parties, and each one will be limited by their own policy limits. You cannot collect more than the total amount deemed fair or necessary, no matter how many parties are found liable for your damages.
  2. Umbrella policies: Sometimes one defendant will be covered by multiple insurance companies who all have an interest ? and liability coverage policy ? in the case. This is known as umbrella policies and generally comes up when you are filing a claim against someone employed or represented by a corporation, such as a truck driver.
  3. Direct lawsuits: If you want to go beyond an insurance policy limit, you will need to take the insurance company out of the picture. You can file a lawsuit directly against the liable party who caused the accident, like the driver in a car accident. This will be difficult, though, as most individuals in such situations simply do not have the funds to pay for your damages on their own, and any winning judgment will be uncollectible.

PUT UP A FIGHT FOR MAXIMIZED COMPENSATION

An insurance policy limit might act as a barrier of sorts to how much compensation you can collect in a single personal injury claim or lawsuit, but it should not deter you. When you are injured by the reckless, negligent, or malicious actions of another party, you must take action and hold them accountable.

Visit his bio to learn more about his experience serving those who have been injured in the state of Georgia.

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The Tricks of Insurance Adjusters

If you sustained an injury in a car accident and did not enlist in the help of a lawyer, you likely spoke to an insurance adjuster who attempted to trick you without your knowledge. In fact, you probably answered questions, unaware of any sinister intentions behind them. The truth of the matter is, insurance companies often try to trick people who are without a lawyer, so as to reduce their claims of injury, and thus not have to pay their share.

Insurance adjusters may ask you to sign documents, delay payment of your claim, offer a quick settlement with the signing of a full release, deny liability, dispute your damages, ask you to sign a general medical authorization so they can have full access to your medical records, and more. The number one tactic of insurance adjusters is asking you for a recorded, signed, or written statement–which is the last thing you should ever agree to.

Here are a few examples of questions that are generally irrelevant and inadmissible in court, including but not limited to:

  • Do you have health insurance?
  • Is this related to a worker?s compensation claim?
  • Have you ever seen a doctor for similar pain?
  • How often have you had this pain in the past?
  • Are you salaried or hourly?
  • Have you received benefits from missing time off work already?
  • Who will cover your co-pays if you go to the doctor?

The answers to these questions are not recorded, and the only times a statement will be recorded is when the plaintiff is seeking under/uninsured benefits, which are contractually assigned and thus required to do so. Our lawyers warn all injured parties to not be fooled by insurance adjusters–though they may seem as though they are only trying to help you, they are simply attempting to make you say something which will be used to prevent you from obtaining the compensation you are entitled to.

CONTACT OUR TEAM OF ATTORNEYS TODAY

At Ross Moore II, P.C., we are determined to help you combat against any challenges or complexities you may be facing in your case. If you have suffered an injury due to no fault of your own, especially due to a car accident, ourlawyers want to help–we believe all victims of negligence deserve compensation for their injuries, medical bills, loss of work, and pain and suffering.

To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team today, don?t hesitate to contact us by calling (404) 491-8511.

What Defines “Damages” in a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law provides victims who are injured due to the negligent or wrongful acts of others with the right to pursue legal action against the at-fault party and hold them responsible for their expenses, losses, and suffering. The ability to recover damages in a personal injury case is a legal remedy for negligence, and particularly when that negligence causes real injuries which disrupt the lives of victims and create physical, emotional, and financial burdens.

At Ross Moore Law., our firm is passionate about helping injured victims and families seek a full and fair recovery of their damages following preventable injuries. Because every case, accident, and injury is unique, we place an emphasis on personalized service in order to understand the full scope of how injuries impact the lives of our clients and their loved ones.

Under personal injury law, damages directly related to an injury and accident are generally recoverable, and it is our job to not only ensure that the at-fault party is held accountable for these damages, but also that all damages are taken into full account so that we pursue the maximum compensation possible. Below are examples of the damages you might be entitled to following an injury:

  • Economic Damages: Victims injured in preventable accidents often face a number of economic expenses and burdens. These economic damages are verifiable financial losses suffered by victims as a direct result of their injuries and they commonly include the costs of medical care and lost wages caused by missing work. In some cases, particularly those involving serious injuries, victims can also recover economic damages for any future medical needs they may have, as well as lost future wages or diminished earning capacity caused by impairment or disability.
  • Non-Economic Damages: As opposed to economic damages, non-economic damages are more difficult to equate into monetary figures. This is because they are meant to compensate victims for their intangible injuries and damages, including their physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment or disfigurement, and loss of quality or enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are a critical component of personal injury recoveries, and it takes an experienced lawyer to illustrate the extent of emotional injuries victims suffer when they have been hurt by the negligence or others. In some cases, families of injured or deceased victims may also be entitled to recoveries or non-economic damages for their emotional injuries and loss of support or companionship.
  • Punitive Damages: Injured victims are nearly always entitled to economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases, but there is another form of damages available in some cases: punitive damages. Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases, and are instead reserved for cases where wrongdoers commit egregious acts of negligence or willful misconduct, fraud, or malice. Punitive damages are designed to further punish wrongdoers for their inappropriate conduct and set an example that deters others from engaging in similar behavior. When available, our firm aggressively pursues a recovery of punitive damages to help our clients receive the maximum compensation possible.

Damages will always vary from case to case, which is why it becomes critical to work with a legal team that treats you as a real person, not a number. Attorney Ross Moore has established himself as a passionate advocate for the injured and an attorney who truly cares about the well-being and future of our clients. If you have questions regarding the damages you may be entitled to in your unique case, do not hesitate to request a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team. Call 844-404-7677 to get started.