Many people are unaware of how detrimental their social media presence can be to their case when it is discovered by opposing counsel. The personal injury claims process can be challenging, both emotionally and financially, so you may turn to the internet for support. While social media can be a great outlet, making simple social media mistakes might hinder your chances of getting compensated if you file a personal injury claim.
Anything you publish on social media is considered admissible evidence, according to the American Bar Association. Insurance companies, negligent parties, and defense attorneys will try to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible, so irresponsibly publishing on social media can make it more difficult for you to collect compensation. Insurance companies frequently check a victim’s Facebook and other social media immediately after an injury. Here’s why social media posts can hurt you.
You May Contradict Your Testimony
It’s possible that you may say something on social media that contradicts what you’re presenting in court. For example, if you claim to have injured your neck in a car accident but then post on social media that you’re at a bowling alley with friends a week later, the defense will question the validity of your injury and claim. You must always be honest about your injuries and losses when filing an injury claim and on social media. Social media posts that contradict what’s presented in your claim can completely sabotage your case.
Your Check-Ins Show What You’re Up To
Location posts can be used against you as evidence in a personal injury case. Check-ins on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others can reveal that you’re doing things that contradict or raise questions about your reported injuries. For example, if you claim to have limited mobility and are applying for social security benefits, checking in at an exercise facility for a workout class could hurt your case.
You May Demonstrate Other Work You’re Able to Do
Inadvertently, social media posts can show what you’re physically capable of doing following an injury. For example, Sally’s Facebook posts showing that she works another job will not help her when she seeks time off and benefits for injuring her back at work. The defense will utilize any evidence to disprove your claim if you can continue regular activities, regardless of pain, fatigue, depression, financial distress or any other impact of an accident.
Friends And Family May Post Photos That Can Be Used Against You
While you may not post anything on your profile during an ongoing personal injury claim, others may. If you go to a party or event, for example, a friend may take a photo of you and publish it on their Facebook page. So let people know ahead of time that you don’t want any photographs of yourself “tagged” or posted online. Even if the party was your only outing of the month and you were miserable, the fact that you were at a “party” will be used against you.
How Do I Avoid Making Social Media Mistakes During An Injury Claim?
When it comes to personal injury claims, social media is a hazard, so be cautious about what you post on your page, what you comment on your friends’ accounts, where you check-in, and more. To protect your case, follow these guidelines:
- Do not post anything about being in an accident.
- Do not post any photos or videos of the accident or your injuries.
- Do not post any content that could reflect your physical or mental condition.
- Do not post about your claim or lawsuit.
- Change your privacy settings NOW to allow only your friends to see your posts and information.
- Do not accept friend requests from anyone you do not know.
- Ask friends and family to ask questions about your case offline.
- Request friends and family to stop tagging you in posts.
- Do not delete your posts.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Don’t jeopardize your chances of recovery by making questionable social media posts. If you or a loved one sustained injuries and losses due to a personal injury claim, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. An experienced North Carolina or South Carolina personal injury attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson can provide you the help and guidance you require to move forward in your life. Call us today at 800-533-6845 or contact us online by filling out the form below.