Could a vacation hurt your personal injury case?

On behalf of Nicole Diaz of Patel & Dalrymple, PLLC on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. 

Say that you suffered a serious injury in a car crash—perhaps your back, neck and shoulders keep throbbing. The last thing you feel like doing is going on a vacation two weeks later. It has been planned for nearly a year, is prepaid and your family is looking forward to it. It will put your body through a lot of extra pain but hopefully will be worth it in the end. Your doctor has cleared you but cautioned you to take it easy.

In fact, you do have a lot of fun. You are not able to do much, but you enjoy taking pictures of your spouse and kids as they frolic about. You even push through the pain to experience a few unforgettable moments and post them on Facebook.

All this happened about six months ago, and you have worked since then to seek compensation for your injuries. All of a sudden, the other party's insurer is saying something that seems ridiculous.

"You are exaggerating or faking your injuries"

The other insurer's theory goes like this: If your injuries were THAT serious, there is no way you would have been able to up and leave on a vacation so soon after getting hurt. The fact that it was prepaid and that you were under a doctor's care do not matter. The big blow, though, is the pictures of you on Facebook grinning as you ride in on ocean waves or stand on top of a mountain ridge.

Thus, the other insurer alleges that you are exaggerating or faking your injuries.

Take care about what you do and how you present yourself

If there is even the slightest chance you could pursue a personal injury case, be careful about what you post on social media. In fact, be careful about what you do in general. An insurer might end up talking with your cousin who happens to mention, "Oh yeah, my cousin went to Florida after the accident and had a great time."

You should still go on vacation if that is what you want. Just be sensible, and do follow your doctor's orders not to overextend yourself. Otherwise, the insurer could also claim that you reinjured yourself on vacation.