Personal injury claims and social media
Nowadays, the use of social media is like second nature for most people. Whether posting photos of trips, outings, daily experiences, articles, food, or other personal interests, we share much of our lives through these channels.
The reality is that we can find a lot of information about a person through their social networks. But unfortunately, this information is not always private and secure enough, so almost anyone can have access to it and use it against them.
Several personal injury lawsuits have taken a hit due to victims’ (or their family and friends’) posts on social media. Therefore, we strongly recommend keeping a low profile in terms of your posts and what others post about you if you are currently in the middle of a personal injury legal process.
How can social networks affect my case? As careful as you may be, insurers and the defendant’s attorneys are always on the lookout for evidence that may help prove that there are inconsistencies in your case.
For example, if you are seeking compensation for back injuries, and days later, you post a photo of yourself walking happily at an amusement park, this photo could be used against you. In this case, the defense will use the photo to show that your injury is not as severe as you claim, which can negatively affect the possibility of getting compensation.
Another example is when outside of economic damages, the victim can allege pain and suffering as a result of an accident. However, photos of the victim enjoying a rock concert are posted on social networks a week later.
All of this can be evidence used against you. Social media posts can be used in the discovery stage of this process, where both parties can show evidence to support their case. In fact, they can be accepted in court as “statements” that the victim has made. The same goes for posts from family and friends that contradict any information included in the lawsuit and intended to recover damages.
If you find yourself in this situation, our recommendation is to ask your family and friends not to mention you or include you in their publications while your process lasts. Keep a low profile, and try not to post anything that might undercut your case. Last but not least, you should talk to an attorney to get advice on how to handle this issue and avoid undermining your case.