How Social Media Can Affect a Personal Injury Claim
Many times, victims involved in personal injury lawsuits do not realize that their posts on social media platforms can and will be used against them before a judge. The other party will find and use anything they can, including your posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to counter your damages claim.
For instance, you may be claiming that you have sustained a serious injury that has prevented you from working. On the other hand, your Facebook page has pictures of you enjoying dinner at a restaurant with friends. These images will be presented during trial or mediation, and they could greatly reduce your chances of garnering sympathy to receive the maximum compensation possible.
In such cases, any video, picture, or content that you share depicting you enjoying yourself with friends or family or traveling can be taken wildly out of context. In fact, most insurers will attempt to use them to reduce your claim.
How Can Social Media Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?
Insurance companies will try their best to reduce or deny your injury claim. The insurance adjuster and their legal team will typically start with investigating your social media profile.
While you may hope that the case does not go to trial and is settled through negotiation, it is difficult to predict these things. In case you do end up going to trial, your adversaries can easily use your social media posts as a tool to question your reputation and discredit your claim. This could end up reducing your compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
There are other risks to sharing excessively on social media platforms. For instance, if you post images of yourself enjoying alcoholic beverages at a bar the night you had an accident, it could compromise your injury claim.
Therefore, avoiding social media during ongoing legal proceedings can help ensure you get fair compensation or a favorable verdict. While your personal injury case is underway, resist the temptation to share videos, images, or updates on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or your blog.
A Real-Life Example of Social Media can Hurt Your Claim
In the following real-life example, a personal injury victim filed a claim after being involved in a rear-end collision. She stated that she was unable to wrestle or dance with her brother following the accident. But images posted on Facebook after the collision showed her lifting her brother in the air.
As expected, the images did not go down well in court, and the judgment was against her. The above situation demonstrates that plaintiffs must be extra cautious with their social media posts when they are making serious personal injury claims in the court.
Consult Your Attorney before Deleting Damaging Posts
If you believe you would have to delete posts later, it is best not to post such information on social media platforms, to begin with. Your attorney is responsible for making sure that no potentially pertinent information is destroyed in anticipation of the lawsuit. In fact, you could face a penalty for breaching the duty to preserve proof during litigation.
However, you can erase evidence as long as there is no legal duty to preserve it. But it is ideal to consult your lawyer promptly to understand whether you can delete potentially harmful content or not.
Consult Your Attorney before Adding New Social Information
Your attorney would advise you on matters pertaining to posting new content on social media, as long as this new information is not knowingly false. However, your lawyer cannot assist you in posting untrue and misleading information that is pertinent or helpful to your damages claim.
As a rule of thumb, always consult your attorney before posting new information on social media accounts and never publish anything that you know is untrue. Dishonest tactics are likely to be damaging to your claim in the long-term.
Do Not Discuss Your Claim on Social Media
This may seem like stating the obvious, but you will need to make a concerted effort not to speak about your lawsuit on social media platforms. With your family and friends wanting updates, this may get challenging. However, you can offer updates during offline conversations. It is unnecessary to post opinions and updates on your case from a legal standpoint. By doing so, you may just compromise your case and the compensatory amount.
You should have any discussions on the state of your health or status of your case only with your lawyer. Avoid social media private messages as well. Furthermore, you should not discuss any area or facet of your case on social media networks under any circumstances.
Talk to a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
Accident victims will require sound legal counsel and support from a seasoned personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence, the experienced attorneys at the law offices of Ron Aslam can assist you in navigating the complex legal system and collecting your rightful compensation.
We have decades of experience in handling personal injury lawsuits and fighting hard for personal injury victims’ rights. To schedule a free initial consultation with a qualified personal injury lawyer, call today at (502) 581-1676.