Social media is a great tool for staying in contact with friends and family, but if you are going through a personal injury claims process, it is best to avoid it. Any posts about your ongoing case can unintentionally hurt your chance to recover fair compensation.
How Social Media Can Damage a Personal Injury Claim
Throughout the claims process, insurance companies, defense attorneys, and private investigators routinely check social media to see if the victim has posted any information about the accident. Unfortunately, sharing details of the case or even your daily activities can wind up discrediting the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life. For example, let’s say you are demanding compensation for debilitating whiplash, and you post a photo of yourself swimming. The insurance company can argue that you are not as severely injured as you claim and may refuse to settle for the amount of compensation you need. Therefore, it is in your best interests to remain off of social media altogether until your case is resolved. Even a carefully worded post can be skewed and used against you.
Social Media Posts are Admissible in Court
It may be surprising to learn that any posts on social media can be used as evidence in court. That includes your photos, posts, comments, and those of any friends or family members. Even if your profile is set to private, it doesn’t mean you are protected. The court has the ability to subpoena social media records.
The Dos and Don’ts of Posting to Social Media
If remaining off of social media altogether is not an option, here are some tips to follow:
- Do not post or comment about your physical condition prior to or after the accident or any details of the accident. This can be especially tough if you sustained a severe injury and wish to keep friends and family updated on your recovery. However, it is too risky to share.
- Change the privacy settings on your accounts to “private.” Although this protection is not absolute, it limits your audience, and the defendant (at-fault party) will have to subpoena the records if they wish to see them. In addition, change your settings so that you must give consent to be tagged in a photo or post.
- Google yourself to see if any information comes up that can harm your credibility. Tell your attorney immediately if you spot any information that can potentially be damaging.
- Do not discuss any doctor visits online.
- Ask friends and family to refrain from posting any photos or information about your accident and recovery.
Last but not least, schedule a free consultation with a skilled personal injury lawyer. If you have been injured in a personal injury accident and are concerned about social media impacting your claim, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can advise you on your options and will help you protect your right to compensation. Call (833) 997-1774 or send us a message online today.