We’ve written before about the effects that social media posts can have on your personal injury claim. If you have been injured in an accident and filed an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you can be assured that the defendant’s insurance company or attorney will perform an online search to find out more information about you. They will most likely looking for information that they can use to deny your claim or downplay the seriousness of your injuries. In the age of social media, the best places to find this kind of information are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. One of the biggest social media mistakes that a personal injury plaintiff can make is posting photos that make it seem like they are not as injured as they claim. This is exactly what happened to a North Carolina woman, who is being sued by her insurance company for fraud.
Cynthia McCullough claimed that she suffered from a debilitating condition known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy that made it difficult for her to get dressed and bathe herself and that she required in-home care. Since 2010, McCullough has received about $389,500 from her comprehensive long-term care policy from New York Life. However, her insurance company is now suing her for fraud after it discovered Facebook photos of her going down a slide and playing Skee-Ball at an arcade.
The lawsuit also accused McCullough of transporting heavy objects into her vehicle and moving freely during an investigation between December 2016 and January 2017. She was also spotted driving 50 miles from her home to a church. During a 15-day surveillance last year, McCullough was seen driving to several locations including a bank, two restaurants, a doctor’s office, and a gas station where she pumped the gas herself. New York Life informed McCullough in July that it was discontinuing her payments. She challenged the decision, stating that her condition was “severe and debilitating,” according to the lawsuit.
Although McCullough’s behavior is particularly brazen, you don’t have to commit insurance fraud to make social media mistakes during your personal injury suit. Even if you are legitimately injured, you can still inadvertently sabotage your case by posting deceiving pictures or checking in at inappropriate locations. For example, don’t post too many pictures of yourself at social events (even if your injury allows you to participate in them), since this can give the impression that you are not as injured as you claim. Also avoid checking in at places where a lot of physical activity usually takes place, such as ballparks, malls, skating rinks, etc. Even if you are merely an observer of events at these places, the defense could use these types of posts against you.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County