Social media has become so popular and widely used that it is more unusual for someone to avoid social media use than it is for someone to maintain a presence on multiple platforms. Social media can connect you with advice, help you maintain relationships with people who aren’t geographically close to you and help you disseminate important information to your social circle almost instantly.

However, social media also creates a sort of semi-official public record that can impact you when you have an insurance claim or personal injury claim. When you get hurt, many times there will be insurance that covers any losses you suffered. Other times, you may need to bring a claim directly against an individual or take legal action to compel an insurance company to approve a claim.

If you find yourself in that situation, your use of social media could wind up hurting your chances of a recovery in your personal injury claim.

The positive narrative on social media can hurt you

People often try to focus on the good stuff when on social media. They share their triumphs and not their struggles. Posting about an awesome dinner party or an exciting trip could help you share your good news with loved ones, but it will also create a skewed perception about your daily life. The more positive news you share, the more unbalanced your presence on social media becomes.

Companies can theoretically use those happy posts and a lack of content focusing on your injury to demonstrate that it isn’t that serious or that it hasn’t impacted your life that much.

Insurance companies and big businesses will absolutely investigate you

When someone brings a claim against an insurance company, the company has a financial incentive to minimize how much they pay. Not that long ago, it was common practice for many disability insurance companies to hire private investigators to follow someone around for weeks just to gather a little bit of evidence undermining their claim of permanent and severe disability.

If an investigative professional successfully captured a picture of someone walking without a cane, even if they only managed to go a few feet, that evidence could do a lot of harm to that individual’s claim.

Given the ubiquity of social media, companies may not be as eager to hire physical investigators anymore. Instead, they may have a team of experts go over your digital timeline. These companies will track both official and secret or personal social media pages and look for any posts that might indicate you misrepresented or exaggerated the impact of your injury.

Avoiding social media while you have pending legal issues is wise, as anything you share, even just to friends or followers, could impact the success of your claim.