Almost everyone uses social media these days – Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. There are even many of the so-called “Silent” generation (those born before 1946) who have a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account. Social media can be a great way to keep in touch and reconnect with family and friends, as well as a useful tool for business networking. But social media can also be used against people in legal cases, both criminal and civil. If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit for injuries sustained in an accident caused by another party, it is probably a good idea to take a break from your online activity.
One of the most commonly used pieces of evidence insurance companies will use against injured victims are photos from their social media accounts. Insurance companies will pour over all of a victim’s accounts, as well as family, friends, and any connections they have online to see if they can find photographs of the victim that could put their claim of injuries in doubt as if they are faking their injuries.
For example, let’s say a victim suffered a painful back injury in a car accident caused by a driver who rear-ended their vehicle. The victim is undergoing medical treatment and physical therapy but is unable to work at their construction job. The victim’s sister gets married and although he is in pain from his injury, he attends the wedding and is included in family photos, where everyone looks happy and smiling. The insurance company handling the victim’s claim could use the wedding photos to show that he really isn’t injured as badly as he claims, judging by how happy he looks in the photos.
Many social media sites have groups people join that are centered around different interests and hobbies. Using the same victim above, let’s say he owns a motorcycle and belongs to several groups and pages on Facebook. Even though his injury has left him unable to ride, the still likes to go on the pages and will even occasionally comment on posts. The insurance company could potentially use those comments to try to show that the victim is still riding his motorcycle, proving the injury is not as bad as he claims.
Some insurance company investigators will use a phony account to try to gather information on the victim, even going as far as sending the victim a friend’s request. If you receive any requests or followers from people you don’t know when you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, there is a chance that it is really the insurance company trying to gather information on you.
Let Our Personal Injury Law Firm Help
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what type of legal recourse you may have. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
The personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have successfully advocated for many clients who suffered brain injuries in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved for their injuries, including a record-setting mild brain injury verdict for $60 million, which was settled while on appeal. Call us today for a free case evaluation.