Like many, you may find your drive to work frustrating and boring. You distract yourself with your favorite radio station or playlist, and you try not to think about what waits for you at the store or the office. At a traffic light, you may pull out your phone and take a selfie and post it to your social media page, since you look especially good today.

A few miles up the road, another driver T-bones you at an intersection. You know what to do, so you call the police, take the contact information from witnesses, use your phone to document the accident and accept treatment from Ohio emergency medical technicians who arrive. You are shocked when time passes and you receive a letter that the insurance company has denied your claim.

Friend or foe?

The problem may go back to that behind-the-wheel selfie, especially if it is not clear that you are not moving at the time. Apparently, your friends and family are not the only ones appreciating your Facebook posts. Insurance companies are one of many industries now taking advantage of social media to investigate you. When you file a claim through your insurance company, the adjuster may begin investigating the claim by Googling you to locate all your social media outlets.

Do you know all the people on your Friends list? You may be shocked to learn that unscrupulous insurance adjusters will friend you to access the posts and pictures you keep secured with privacy settings. They are looking for any evidence that your vehicle had damage prior to the accident, that you are not suffering from your injuries as you claim you are or that you posted details about the accident that contradict what you say on the police report or claim application.

What are your options?

While you may know the story behind the pictures and comments you post, an insurance investigator will take those posts at face value. You may not have an opportunity to defend yourself against the insurance company’s interpretation of your social media presence.

The insurance industry sees the use of social media as a welcome tool to help them combat fraud that often results in a rise in rates for people like you. However, if your social media plays a part in the unfounded denial of a valid claim, you may wish to seek legal advice on the best way to proceed.