Social media is great for staying in connection with family and friends. However, posts about an ongoing personal injury claim can, unfortunately, wind up impacting your compensation.
How Social Media Can Impact a Personal Injury Claim
Insurance companies, defense attorneys, and private investigators routinely check a claimant’s social media pages to gather information that could be used as evidence against their case. For example, suppose you demand compensation for a back injury that prevents you from returning to work but post a photo of yourself bowling. In that case, it may discredit the severity of your injury and damage your claim. Therefore, it is also important not to share any details of your accident or ongoing case on social media.
Even if you carefully word a post, the information can possibly be misconstrued and used against you by the at-fault party. If the defendant (at-fault party) can successfully use your posts to social media against you, your compensation can be reduced accordingly, and you may not receive full reimbursement for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Social Media Posts are Admissible in Court
Many personal injury victims are surprised to learn that their social media posts can be admissible as evidence by law. That includes your content and comments, as well as any comments or posts by friends and family. In some cases, the court may even subpoena social media records from accounts set to private.
The Dos and Don’ts of Posting to Social Media After a Personal Injury Accident
The best course of action is to remain off of social media and not to post or say anything until the personal injury case is resolved. However, if that is not an option, there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Refrain from commenting or posting about your current physical condition or any aspect of the accident. Although this can be tough, especially if you suffered a severe injury, it is better not to risk saying anything that can unintentionally hurt your claim.
- Increase the privacy settings on your social media accounts. If your accounts are set as “public,” change them to “private,” and change your settings so that you must consent to be tagged in a photo or post. At least then, you can limit your audience and any attempts from the defendant to access your information.
- Google yourself. See what information comes up and if there is anything that could harm your credibility. Make your attorney aware of any potentially damaging information.
- Don’t talk about your doctor visits. Your friends and family may be using social media to ask about your healing process, but updates can be easily used against you.
- In addition to exercising caution with your own accounts, you may need to ask friends and family to refrain from posting any pictures or text related to you and the accident.
When in doubt, speak with a Westchester County Personal Injury Attorney to get their advice before posting anything on social media.