Social Media and Accident Claims
Social Media has become a central point of modern day life. There are various platforms where people can share experiences, opinions, photos and anything else they want people to see! However due to people attempting to make false claims for personal injury, defence solicitors are now often turning to social media to ensure the claiming individual is truly suffering or has suffered from an injury. A fraudulent claim is recognised as when the person making the claim intentionally leaves out, mispresents, alters or hides vital information relating to the claim. This is done with the intention of receiving payment under the policy that they would not be otherwise entitled to.
If you are making a claim for personal injury, it is most likely because you have been injured in a non-fault accident and you would like to be compensated for the pain and suffering you have had or are still enduring. If you are a devoted social media poster it may come as second nature for you to post about your accident or injury online to let your followers and friends know how you are doing after the incident. Defence solicitors will now often check the following areas to make sure your claim for personal injury is genuine, as there are serious consequences that come with making false claims.
If you are claiming for a serious injury, such as a broken leg or arm, but then found to be checking in as playing football with your friends, the defence solicitors will use this post against you to invalidate the claim as it would appear you are participating in an activity that isn’t consistent with the injury you have claimed to be suffering from. This however is an extreme example. One of the more common incidents in this area is accident locations. People when filling in claim forms or speaking to insurers will often give the location of the accident as to the best of their knowledge being true. However it has been seen that when an accident occurs people take pictures of the accident and upload to their social media platform where in the geo location tag has stated that they are somewhere else or the image shows the name of the road being different to the location stated in the claim form. If this is seen to be inconsistent with the initial claim, third party insurers or solicitors have been seen to invalidate claims on this basis.
Comments on your posts
Comments on your social media posts may contribute towards defence solicitors arguing your claim is fraudulent if someone comments something that contradicts your injury details, such as commenting about your quick recovery or participation in something you have claimed not to be able to do.
Being tagged in photos uploaded to the platform by other people can paint a very different picture to the injury claim being presented. While still injured, photo evidence can in the moment display a different point of view to that which is actual reality. Photos that you post on social media are also checked to see what you are physically capable of. As an example something as simple as posting a photo of your dogs enjoying an afternoon walk in the hills, a solicitor would place you as being able to climb a hill to take the photo which can be used to invalidate any claim being made.
The consequences for making a fraudulent claim can vary anywhere from a fine to prison time. Look out for our next blog upload to read more about the consequences of making a fraudulent claim!