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The Impact of Social Media On Personal Injury Cases

Use of social media in personal injury lawsuitsIf you have suffered or taken any injuries in personal cases, social media can be used effectively to provide evidence of these injuries. Because social media has become a critical part of our daily lives, it allows us to share our thoughts, experiences, and, more importantly, our injuries with a broad audience. In personal injury cases, social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and even Snapchat can significantly impact the outcome of your lawsuit and future legal proceedings.

One of the most common ways social media is used in personal injury cases is during discovery. Discovery is the process where both parties involved in a lawsuit gather information and evidence from one another to strengthen their case. This commonly includes requesting documents and gathering information from social media accounts and posts.

Insurance companies and defense attorneys will usually search the social media profiles of various plaintiffs to find any evidence that may go against or contradict their claims of injury. For instance, if you have filed a personal injury lawsuit where you claimed that a car accident caused a back injury that has left you unable to work, the opposing counsel may search your social media posts that show you engaging in activities that prove you are more physically sound than you portray to be.

These posts or photos can be taken out of context or misinterpreted, weakening your case. Therefore, being cautious about what you post on social media while your personal injury lawsuit is ongoing and steadily under review is important.

What Are Some Examples of Social Media Use in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

There are several scenarios where social media content can impact someone’s personal injury claim. These examples showcase the importance of being cautious about what you post on social media during an ongoing personal injury lawsuit:

  • Physical activities: If you made claims in an injury lawsuit that you are in a weakened physical condition and your social media account shows you out and about and performing tasks that contradict your claimed physical state, it could be used against you as many social media users and defense attorneys can see your online presence.
  • Timing of your posts: Your social media statements or comments can also be seen as an admission of fault or liability. For instance, if an individual is involved in a car accident and posts about the incident on various social media channels, any admission or confession of blame with statements such as (“I didn’t see the red light!”) or even vague statements that could be interpreted as guilt could potentially be used against you. These social media activities express that even if they don’t directly correlate to lousy intent, they can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury case and your compensation benefits.
  • Engaging with others: Comments, text messages, and expressions on even innocent posts that you wouldn’t think would affect your case have an impact. Throughout all social media content there are ways to track your expressions and engagement on various posts that may show more insight on your physical, psychological, and mental state. This includes private posts where experienced attorneys can go to lengths to track your online life and engagement in sight to conflict with your injury case.

How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Using social media while involved in a personal injury lawsuitTo protect your social media accounts during a personal injury lawsuit, here are some steps of precaution you can take.

Don’t Post About Your Accident

Posting about your accident could cause many problems to arise. One of them includes unnecessary exposure to attorneys. When an experienced defense attorney can see your social media activity and how it makes compelling and contradicting claims of your physical state, they can use it against your case as it becomes clear social media evidence.

Another reason why avoiding posting about your accident and the extent of your injuries is in your best interest during the personal injury lawsuit process is that in addition to defense attorneys finding loopholes in your claims, insurance claims adjusters can also view your social media accounts with your activity and engagement and can see if false claims are being made about your current quality of life.

Adjust Your Privacy Settings

Adjusting your privacy and private settings would be in your best interest regarding the period of a personal injury lawsuit. Review and modify your social media account’s privacy settings to control who can see your posts and personal information. Set your account to private so that only approved followers on your friends list can see your content. Adjusting your privacy settings can be a powerful tool to help protect your information and personal life from defense attorneys and insurance adjusters.

Limit Follower and New Friend Requests

Be careful of accepting any new friend and follow requests from people who you are not familiar with. This could also include fake profiles. All it takes is one person to share your content and use it against you when they become your followers.

Tell Friends and Family to Avoid Posting About You

The reason you wouldn’t want family members or friends posting about you during a physical injury lawsuit or accident claim would mainly be because it appears as a potential threat to your case. When friends or family post about your activities, personal life, or current state of health on social media, their posts could potentially be used against you as contradictory evidence by the defense to undervalue your physical injuries as an accident victim. For example, if someone uploads a picture of you appearing happy and having a blast with friends at a party, it could be misinterpreted as evidence that you are not in as much pain or suffering as you claim. Regardless if it is a simple post or even a future post of your everyday life, you must be cautious and advise your family to avoid posting you as it avoids risky activity in the future.

Don’t Private Message Others About your Case

Privately messaging others about your case/auto accident can even create problems regarding personal and physical injury. When you post pictures on social media about your personal injury case, it is already risky, but privately messaging others about your case can create even more problems. Sharing information about your case through private messages can jeopardize the outcome of your lawsuit. Private messaging on all social networks should be avoided even though they are more protected than public posts.

Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney for Specific Advice

Before making any sudden posts on social media about your accident or injury, be sure to prioritize communication with your personal injury attorney, as they are professionals and are meant to help relieve your mental and emotional distress. Social networks can be your worst enemy and to eliminate any possibility of evidence against you for the case, be sure to ask your attorney and legal counsel questions. Contact us today at Munley Law for a free consultation.

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