It’s become quite common for people to use some sort of social media platform. Social media makes it easy to stay connected with family and friends, share life updates, and view an array of videos, pictures, and news.
With such ease of relaying an extraordinary amount of information comes the need for caution. Posts on social media can sometimes come back to hurt people, and this is particularly true when it comes to personal injury cases.
Social Media Can Be Used as Evidence Against Your Case
Anyone with a pending personal injury lawsuit needs to be extremely cautious with what they post on social media sites. What you post could call facts of your case into doubt or you could post something that casts you in a negative light.
Social media is a powerful tool in the investigative process, and insurance companies have become quite skillful when it comes to searching social media accounts. Their number one goal is to discredit the plaintiff in personal injury cases. Revealing too many personal details about your life, or worse, posting specifics about your case, could severely harm the chances of you receiving compensation.
6 Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
1. Posting Details About the Accident
Posting any specific details about your accident on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media site could affect your personal injury case. Sharing details about what happened could lead to inconsistency with the statement you gave to the insurance company. Be sure to also refrain from posting any details about your case. Don’t post any unfavorable comments about other parties involved in the case, including the insurance company. These comments could reflect negatively on you.
2. Contradicting Your Testimony
In personal injury cases, consistency is crucial. Posting comments on social media that contradict your testimony about how you were injured can pave the way for insurance companies to latch on to discrepancies to discredit your case.
3. Conversations with New “Friends”
While it’s a good idea to never accept a friend request on social media from anyone you don’t know, this is especially true concerning new friend requests during your personal injury claims process. The insurance company involved could create fake social media profiles in an effort to gain access to your social media profiles. They could then try to find social media posts to use as evidence against your case.
4. Revealing What You Can Do
A significant factor in determining your compensation in personal injury settlements is how your injuries affect everyday activities. One of the most critical aspects of a personal injury claim is proving damages. Insurance companies aim to minimize the damages they may have to pay out for claims, so it’s important to avoid any social media posts that may imply you are in better physical shape than you are.
5. Public Posts of Any Nature
Photos and comments can be taken out of context quite easily, and insurance companies and their lawyers can use this to their advantage. They may search through everything you’ve posted on social media. Make sure your social media accounts are set to being as private as possible.
6. Comments From Family and Friends
Social media posts by witnesses can even affect your personal injury case. These posts could contradict your claim about injuries or include statements about the amount of money you want for any losses. This could cast you in a more negative light and hurt the evidence for your case.
Examples of How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
- If you claim your injuries prevent you from social activities, a picture of you hanging out with friends could be portrayed as you exaggerating your injuries.
- Photos or videos of you hiking, dancing, or other physical activities if you claim to have incapacitating injuries.
- Checking in to the gym can imply you could have been working out, even if you just went for a smoothie or to relax by the pool.
- Post about your job or any other money-earning/work-related activities if you’re seeking compensation for loss of earning capacity/lost wages.
- Post of behavioral tendencies, such as consuming alcohol or photos captured while driving, that could frame a view that you played a role in causing the accident.
A Court Can Order Your Social Media Posts
Social media posts can be admissible by law in personal injury cases and can be used as evidence against claims. This includes your posts to social media accounts as well as posts by family and friends. In some cases, the court may request information from your social media accounts even if your settings are private. As such, remember to use extreme caution before posting anything during your case, and ask friends and family to avoid posting anything about you or your case as well.
Why are Social Media Posts Admissible?
When you’re filing a personal injury claim, your statements to others outside of court are admissible against you because you are a party to the case. Therefore, your posts on social media count as personal statements. Social media posts by others are admissible if they contradict the same person’s statement in court.
Best Course of Action for Your Social Media Accounts
Since social media can have such a significant impact on personal injury claims, it’s best to avoid it completely for the duration of your case. If you can’t do without using social media, keep the following tips in mind:
- Check your privacy settings and limit who can access your profiles and posts.
- Avoid posting any photos or videos, specifically ones involving physical activity.
- Do not accept any “friend requests” from people you don’t know.
- Do not post anything showing your location, including “checking in” to a location.
- Do not post any negative comments about parties involved in your case, including the insurance company.
- Do not post any details about your personal injury case.
- Avoid commenting on other social media accounts. (You can’t control privacy settings on other accounts and you don’t know who may see your comment.)
- Do not tag yourself in any posts. Ask your friends to avoid tagging you as well.
How a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney to handle your case and take the weight of the stress off your shoulders. Insurance companies and their lawyers will do everything possible to weaken your case. A personal injury lawyer can provide you with the expert guidance you need to recover the compensation you need to get back to your life.