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Be careful what you share when crowdfunding for medical bills

A top concern after many personal injuries such as a dog bite is how to pay medical bills. Health insurance may cover either a portion or, if you are lucky, most of your bills. However, even having "most" of your bills covered can still mean a substantial amount left over, especially when your total bill is sky-high.

Many people in the United States turn to crowdfunding to raise money for medical bills. They post pictures of themselves or their loved ones and go into detail about the injuries suffered and the prognosis. Whether you are the injured person or a friend/relative of the injured, be careful of what you share.

Inaccurate information can hurt a compensation case

It is easily possible to misunderstand a doctor's explanation about injuries or for key details to get dropped or misinterpreted as information passes from person to person. Thus, a crowdfunding post may underestimate or overestimate the severity of a person's injuries. Either situation is problematic in a case to seek compensation. Saying that a person has x and w injuries (but leaving out y and z injuries) could lead an insurer to feel comfortable making a low settlement offer. Similarly, an insurer could accuse the person of exaggerating or faking injuries. An encouraging update showing the person up and about and smiling with a message like, "See how much your donations are helping him recover!" can also lead to this sort of scenario.

Desperation can lead to credibility issues

Say that your friend was hurt and you chose the most shocking pictures of his injuries to post--and added a few touches to make them look worse. You also increased the scope of his injuries in your description, reasoning that it would get people to donate more. Your friend never gave you permission to do this, and it can seriously hurt his case later. At every stage of a compensation case, the injured party and others such as doctors must be perceived as credible and trustworthy.

Never share medical data you have not been given permission to share. If you are the injured party, your lawyer has probably already told you to not discuss your case on social media. Run any crowdfunding plans or posts by your lawyer before making them public.

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