For over fifteen years I was an insurance defense attorney. My job was to minimize the amount of money plaintiffs received for their injury claims. Over the years, I deposed well over one thousand plaintiffs from across the state of New Jersey, from Vineland to Vernon. In my “Confessions of a Former Defense Attorney” series, I share tips, tricks, and pitfalls that can spoil a personal injury claim.
I spent hours on the internet looking for incriminating information on personal injury plaintiffs. It felt creepy. It was. Among the insurance carriers and defense attorneys, a deep dive into your social media accounts and posts is a mandatory part of the process. Some insurance carriers go as far as to hire outside companies to perform even more detailed search for dirt on the internet. And the searches are not limited to Facebook or Instagram. The insurance company and their attorneys will try to use anything and everything you post online to call into question your injuries and your truthfulness.
What is the solution? If you are injured in an accident, stay off social media. Many believe that by setting social media accounts set to “private,” the problem is solved. Not so fast. If a social media account is set to “private,” posts may be subject to disclosure if the defense attorney can show that there is a reasonable basis to believe that that the private posts may have some bearing on the case.