Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and express ourselves. However, when it comes to personal injury claims, social media can be a double-edged sword. While it allows you to connect with others and share your experiences, it can also be used against you by an insurance company.
If you’re currently pursuing a personal injury claim, it’s important to exercise caution when using social media. Sharing details about your case on these platforms could potentially harm your chances of receiving full value for your losses and injuries.
Here are some tips for responsible social media use during your personal injury case.
1. Be aware of who can access your social media.
When it comes to personal injury claims and social media, it’s critical to be aware of who can access your accounts and what you post. Defendants and their lawyers will search for anything that could undermine your credibility and cast doubt on the severity or cause of your injuries.
If your social media activities appear to contradict your testimony, it can significantly impact your ability to receive the full value of your case from the negligent party.
Nothing is truly private on social media. Even if you have a private account, opposing attorneys and insurance adjusters can potentially access your posts through court orders or discovery requests. Social media posts lack legal protections and can be used as evidence in court.
If you make a mistake and post something that appears to contradict your claim even in the slightest, avoid deleting any posts or pictures from your social media accounts. Removing information from your social media could be seen as destroying or altering evidence relevant to litigation. Deleting a post or your entire social media account may make you appear guilty and weaken your case. Even permanently deleted content can potentially be recovered and used as evidence.
You should assume that all social media content can be accessed by opposing counsel. By keeping this in mind, you can take steps to ensure that your online activity doesn’t harm your case.
2. Know what types of posts to steer clear of.
Social media content can provide valuable information that either supports or refutes your personal injury claim.
Insurance companies often review your social media activity to find evidence that may undermine your claim.
This includes geo-location data, details about your daily activities, and insights into your behavior. They may also investigate whether your activities could contribute to your injuries or interfere with your prescribed medical treatment.
For example, sharing vacation photos on social media could be used by the defense to challenge your bodily injury claims, loss of quality of life, and mental suffering.
If you’re injured in a crash and file a lawsuit, the insurance company representing the responsible party may search for evidence of your pain levels. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to present photos of clients having fun as evidence that they’re exaggerating their injuries.
While we want to get our clients’ lives back to normal as soon as their bodies heal, we always recommend that they avoid posting photos of themselves during the claims process as a precaution. We’ve seen photos used as evidence against clients too many times.
3. Don’t admit fault or post inconsistencies.
Be cautious about admitting fault or marking regretful apologies on social media. Even a simple statement like “I wrecked my bike” can imply guilt or legal liability.
Similarly, seemingly harmless updates like “I was just in a crash, but don’t worry – I’m fine!” can easily be misconstrued and negatively impact your case.
Maintaining consistency and accuracy is crucial when filing a personal injury claim.
If your official statement states that your injury occurred in the morning, but your social media post indicates it was in the afternoon, this inconsistency could be used against you.
Be mindful of discrepancies in social media posts, as they may provide an opportunity for defense counsel and investigators to challenge the validity of your unique story.
4. Ask your loved ones to avoid posting about you.
Even if you don’t post about your case, your loved ones might unintentionally share information that could be used against you. To avoid any mishaps, advise your loved ones not to mention your auto crash or case on social media and keep the details to themselves.
We recommend regularly checking tags on social media. While Facebook allows tag review, these posts can still be seen elsewhere online. It’s best to ask your loved ones not to tag you during this time. Avoid commenting on other users’ posts as well, as even seemingly harmless comments can be misused in court.
Witness posts on social media can also have a significant impact on your case. Witnesses may post things that appear to contradict your claims about your injuries, which can paint you in a negative light.
Communicate with your witnesses about the importance of keeping quiet on social media during this time.
Keep in mind that you have no control over someone else’s privacy settings. Therefore, try to communicate with witnesses and loved ones directly and refrain from discussing the incident online.
5. Contact a personal injury attorney.
When it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim, seeking guidance from a qualified personal injury attorney is essential. They can provide valuable insights on how to exercise caution on social media and recover the full value of your case.
If you must use social media, we recommend limiting your engagement with others’ posts and being mindful of what you post.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about managing your online presence and strengthening your case.
The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Contact a qualified attorney today for professional legal guidance.