How Social Media Can Change Your Injury Case

In the digital age, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are integral to our daily life. Whether it is sharing posts with your friends or chatting with your family, these apps are a part of our day to day routine. However, if you were involved in a car accident or have a personal injury claim open, social media activity can have serious unintended consequences in your case. In this article we will be going over the impact that sharing posts on social media can have on your personal injury case, as well as what you should consider before posting.

Evidence in Legal Proceedings

Anything that you share on social media can be used as evidence against you in legal proceedings. This means anything you share online including photos, videos, comments, or even locations that you have been to, can be accessed and used to undermine your personal injury claim. For example if you were to share a picture of yourself at the gym or a concert, an insurance company could claim that this contradicts your claims of severe injury as you are continuing on with your daily life. In a personal injury case a court is likely to grant broad discovery permissions, which means that opposing counsel will be able to have access to your social media accounts for any evidence that could change your credibility, or lessen the value of your case. 

Contradicting Statements

The most important part of a personal injury case is consistency in information. What we mean by this is that the information that you share with your attorneys, your doctors, insurance companies, and courts should all be consistent with one another. Social media posts can muddle this consistency, as they can sometimes contradict your statements in a legal setting and it can severely damage your case. For instance, discussing or even casually mentioning your injuries, the recovery process, or details of your accident online can lead to misinterpretation of your statements. An insurance company will look for any way to devalue your claim, and if a statement can be taken out of context in their favor they will utilize it.

Impact on Settlement Negotiations

Insurance companies and their defense attorneys will actively monitor the social media accounts of anyone that has an open claim with them in the hopes that any of the content shared might reduce their liability or the severity of their claims. A seemingly innocent post or photo could be taken completely out of context to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, potentially damaging your case and decreasing the amount of money that the insurance company might have offered for your case.

Psychological Impact and Perception

Posts about your accident or injuries can also shape how you are perceived by a jury or judge. For example if you shared posts expressing anger or frustration over the accident or the parties involved in the accident your image in the courtroom may be perceived negatively. Similarly, if a post suggests you had a quick recovery or a positive outlook after the accident the jury may perceive this as a sign of minimal impact on your life, thus affecting the perceived severity of your injuries and case.

Think Before You Post, the Best Practice For Social Media Use During Your Case:

In this article we have discussed the impact that posting on social media can have on your personal injury case, here is a list of suggestions on what you should do to avoid damaging your case:

  • Limit Social Media Use: During your case, consider taking a break from posting on social media for at least as long as your claim is in progress. Feel free to use social media to connect with friends and family, but consider taking a hiatus from posting about your life until your case wraps up.
  • Discuss Posting Guidelines With Your Attorney: Have a conversation with your personal injury lawyer about what is safe to post as well as what could be problematic for your case if you share it. Your personal injury lawyer’s advice could greatly affect the success of your injury case, so be sure to follow it.
  • Think Before You Post: Always assume that every post you share during your injury claim could be seen by the opposing party. Keep this in mind before you post in order to avoid sabotaging your injury case. 
  • Educate Your Friends and Family: An insurance company will try their hardest to devalue your case, including looking on friends and loved one’s social media accounts to see if there is anything that could discredit your claim. Try to inform people you are close to to not post anything about you or your case without reviewing it with you first.

Social media is a powerful tool that can connect us with our friends and family from anywhere, but in the context of a personal injury claim, it can become a double edged sword. By understanding the potential risks that can arise while using social media you can better understand how to manage your online presence carefully. If you have any questions on what you should or should not post after you have been injured consider reaching out to a skilled personal injury lawyer. 

At LifeLaw Personal Injury our team of personal injury lawyers will be happy to answer any questions you might have to make the legal process easier. If you have been injured and you don’t know where to start be sure to contact the best personal injury lawyers at LifeLaw. Our team will work tirelessly and fret over every detail in your case so that you can focus on what is really important, your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and to discuss your options further!