The effect social media has on our daily existence is astonishing. In our experience in the claims and investigative industry, the content that a claimant posts on his or her social media profiles can be especially devastating (for them). We have also found that conducting Internet Profile Reports and capturing social media evidence yields the best results when conducted early on after the claim has been submitted.
Because one of the first things a claimant’s counsel will instruct them to do is to cut down on utilizing social media, change privacy settings to ensure profiles are as private as possible, deny any new requests from unknown individuals, or…delete your social media existence in its entirety (gasp)! Attorneys are well aware of the severity that social media evidence can have against claims and they will instruct their clients to limit usage as much as possible.
To avoid claimants deactivating their profiles, strengthening privacy settings to non-public, or deleting profiles altogether, it is best to take a proactive approach and capture social media evidence as soon as possible. This will increase the likelihood of identifying a claimant’s daily activities, uncovering any preexisting conditions/property damage, and possibly discovering the claimant’s account of an accident which may help contradict changes in their story later on.
Not only do we recommend capturing all of this evidence early, but we also suggest the importance of continuing to monitor the claimant’s social media profiles over time (even during litigation), as new evidence can always arise.
Furthermore, identifying a claimant’s closest relatives, friends, and associations on social media can further aid in the investigation. Spouses, children, close friends, neighbors, roommates, co-workers, etc. may post and/or share information related to the case, as well as information about the claimant and the claimant’s activity level. Just because the claimant deactivated his Facebook, doesn’t mean the rest of his family did!