Privacy rights may not be a topic we associate with personal injury cases and insurance companies. However, there are various aspects of personal injury claims that you need to be aware of, particularly when it comes to protecting your privacy.
Your Privacy Rights
There are many areas of your personal life that can suddenly become public when you are going through a personal injury claim. This includes the following:
- Pay history. Your financial information should only be necessary if you are claiming lost wages or a loss of earning capacity as a result of your injuries.
- Medical history. Although you must present your proof of injury and bills to be eligible for a personal injury claim, insurance carriers do not have a right to access your complete medical history. If you sign a release for your medical records, it should only be for documents related to your current injuries that are involved in the claim. Never sign a release for your complete medical history. Insurance carriers will use pre-existing injuries to explain why you are currently hurt and to lower the amount they have to pay.
- Social media. You may think this is private information, but it is not. Even if your settings are on “friends only,” your posts can easily be accessed by insurance carriers or attorneys for the defendant.
What Motivates Insurance Companies
There is one motivation behind insurance companies – profit. Insurance companies are for-profit entities that work to pad their bottom line. When they have to pay out large insurance settlements, their bottom line gets smaller. That is why insurance claims adjusters actively work to ensure their employer pays as little as possible for a claim. Insurance company employees and adjusters may seem friendly, but that does not mean they are your friend. Please know that they will happily pay you nothing if they know they can get away with it.
Tips to Protect Your Privacy on Social Media
Most Americans use social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and more. The updates we make on social media connect us to our friends and family. However, social media posts can be used by insurance companies to completely destroy your personal injury claim. There are several steps you could take after you are injured in order to protect your privacy on social media.
- Post nothing about the accident. Do not post about the initial incident, any injuries, or any personal injury claim.
- Do not accept friend requests from anyone you don’t know. This could be someone from the insurance team or defendant trying to gain access to your social media posts.
- Review your privacy settings. Make sure you have the highest privacy settings on and block anybody you do not know from viewing your personal pages.
- Take off tags. Make it so you cannot be tagged in anybody else’s posts or photos because these will automatically become visible to anybody.
How a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
A skilled Charleston personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through every aspect of your personal injury claim. This includes guiding you on steps to take to protect your privacy. Your attorney will let you know what documents you should and should not sign, help you make statements to insurance carriers, and ensure that you know what information is appropriate for social media posts. The goal of your attorney will be to secure the maximum compensation possible for your personal injury claim.