Personal injury claims & social media
Although the support of friends and family is vital, using social media is risky during a personal injury claim, as it may provide evidence against you.
Social Media Can Be Detrimental to Your Personal Injury Claim
In a personal injury claim, the job of the defense is to find evidence suggesting that damages are not as severe as the claimant purports. If an insurance company or their counsel views your social media account, they will use anything they can find to try and disprove your claim.
For example, if you are seeking damages for chronic pain or an inability to enjoy physical activities, the defense may examine photos on social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They may stumble upon evidence that suggests you are not injured — photos of you enjoying a bike ride or taking a walk in the woods with your dog can end up being used to refute your claim. The judge hearing your case may rule that you are not entitled to compensation for your damages if the photos show convincing evidence of your physical capabilities and/or enjoyment of life.
In addition to physical injuries, many people who are victims of accidents may also suffer from severe emotional distress. Loss of enjoyment, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and social isolation can often be as damaging as being physically injured. Pictures of you smiling and laughing with friends could be construed as proof that you are not suffering emotionally. No matter how unfair this may be, do not post any photographs while you are involved in a personal injury claim.
The defense may also use something as innocuous as posts wishing you a happy birthday, and argue that you couldn’t possibly be isolated with so many friends. While it may seem to be reaching, the defense’s job is to reduce or eliminate the claim for which they are liable, and they will work to do so from every possible angle.
Do Not Post Any Details Regarding Your Accident, Injury, or Claim
It’s essential that you protect yourself by not posting any information about an accident, regardless of your involvement. This includes details about the accident, your injuries, others’ injuries, witnesses, and anyone or anything else related to the incident.
Ideally, social media is something you should not use at all during a personal injury case. If you decide to not close your social media accounts, be cautious about what you post online. Remove personal information like your birth date from your profile. Set your social media accounts to private during your case. Ask loved ones not to tag or mention you in their posts. Refrain from posting any photographs while your claim is being litigated.
If you are thinking of pursuing a personal injury claim, our skilled attorneys can advise you on the best practices for social media use and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC for more information or to discuss your case.