Friday, August 4, 2017

Social Media and PIP Benefits

By: Derek Bernstein, Esq.

What does social media have to do with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits?

In the year 2017 everyone is on social media. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Linkedin, social media is a huge factor in everyday life. We all know those people who post every single thing they do in their daily lives online for the world to see. We also know those people who try to glamorize their lives and “trips” while living in their mother’s house. In my experience it is very hard for people who find themselves in an injury setting to stop doing what they normally do when it comes to social media. So why is that bad? Can social media affect your injury claim?

Your Insurance Company is Watching

Do you have your profile set to public because you have nothing to hide? If the answer is yes, then you have given access to your insurance company to spy on you. When you get into an accident and start treating at a physician’s office for your injuries, your insurance company should start paying for them. However, a lot of the times you want to go to your Facebook to tell your friends and family what happened and how you are feeling. If someone from the insurance company looks you up and finds out you said “I am feeling ok” they might not pay those bills.

How can social media affect my case?

As stated before not only will they use your words against you, but also your activities. If you are really injured, but post the picture in the club that you mustered up enough energy to take before sitting back down to feel bad, the insurance company could believe you are faking your injuries to get a bigger settlement.  This also could cause them to schedule you for an “Independent Medical Examination” (For more information on IME’s please see: https://www.dolmanlaw.com/independent-medical-evaluation-pip/ ) An IME takes time out of your schedule as well as you will learn from reading the link, they are not always the most fair. They will use what you said or did and cutoff your benefits. Meaning this could slow down payments to your medical provider or even cause them to stop seeing you

How can social media affect my claim for lost wages?

As part of the PIP statute Fla. Stat. 627.736, you can make a claim for lost wages. However, if the insurance company checks your Instagram page to see that on one of the days you claimed to be unable to work you were at the beach, then you are in a world of trouble. Sometimes even online you post pictures from days past and post them to make it look like you’re doing something you are not. So you could try to explain that to someone at the Special Investigation Unit of your insurance company as they are investigating you for fraud, or you could just be mindful of your activities.

What You Can and Can't Post on Your Social Media During an Injury Claim

The best plan of action during a personal injury case is to lay low on social media, but if you must continue to use your accounts during the claim, here are somethings your can and can't post:
Do Not Post:
  • Anything that shows physical activity
  • Your feelings about the insurance company
  • Your feelings about the person who hit you
  • Your emotional state
  • Pictures of you out on the town
  • Pictures of you at an event
You Can Post:
  • Cat videos
  • Share others posts about current events, celebrities, etc
  • Post a music video
  • A product you like
  • Basically stuff that has nothing to do with your personal life.
If you've been injured in an accident or hurt on the job halt your social media activities. If you're not sure about whether you can post something or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it. If you have any questions about your PIP case, pick up the phone and dial 727-222-6922 or email Derek Bernstein at Derek@dolmanlaw.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment