Social Media and Its Negative Impact on Personal Injury Claims

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have become as much a part of everyday life as eating, sleeping, and breathing. With the click of a button or the swipe of a finger, social media allows us to connect with our friends and family and share vast amounts of information about what’s going on in our lives. But if you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of another and have filed a personal injury claim, something you post on social media can hurt you. Here are some things to keep in mind so you don’t let social media negatively impact your personal injury claim.

Public Record

Your social media posts are public record. Anything you post publicly on the internet, or that others post about you, may be used as evidence against you during a personal injury case. After you’ve been in an accident, it may be a good idea to suspend all of your social media accounts and ask your friends and family to refrain from posting anything about you. At the very least, make sure your account is set to private. Any private messages you post can’t be accessed or used without your consent.

How Social Media Posts Can Hurt

The defense can use even innocent social media posts to undermine your claimed damages in a personal injury suit. The defense may turn to Facebook and other social media sites, to forums, or to your personal blog to disprove your claims of physical or emotional damages. You may post something on social media that contradicts your claimed physical limitations. For example, if you claimed to have suffered a torn rotator cuff, but you post on Facebook a picture of you bowling with your church league, the defense is going to use that photo to challenge your injury claim.

Check-ins on Facebook and other sites can show that you’re participating in activities contradicting your claimed injuries. For example, if you claim to have limited mobility, you shouldn’t be checking in at a yoga or Zumba class.

Social media posts by you or your family and friends may also show what you’re physically able to do. If you claim to be suffering from chronic pain or depression preventing you from participating in physical activities you once enjoyed with your spouse, children, or friends, but you or someone else posts a photo of you hiking, playing soccer with your child, partying with friends, or on a cruise with your spouse, your case can be ruined.

If you’re injured due to the negligence of another, you should hire a personal injury lawyer quickly to help you navigate the use of social media during your claim.

Best Practices

A top personal injury lawyer in Bradenton, FL, can keep you on the right track in your personal injury case. While it’s understandable that you may turn to social media for support when you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to know the consequences. You should avoid talking about your claim on any social media sites. Talking about money or other matters pertaining to your injury on social media is a dangerous practice. Be careful of the words you choose when posting comments on another person’s wall or timeline. Always be aware that claims adjusters, insurance investigators, and attorneys can use your online social media posts and photos against you.

Call Erjavec Injury Law at (941) 907-1133 for a free evaluation of your case.