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Can Social Media Harm a Personal Injury Case?

By Butler Prather LLP on July 24, 2019

Social media has woven itself into just about every aspect of our lives. The Pew Research Center says that 72% of all adults in the United States use at least one social media site. Social media use is spread out amongst all ages, and even 40% of those over the age of 65 use social media.

Can Social Media Harm a Personal Injury Case

Social media has made it easy to share our lives and connect with friends and family. However, there are times when we “overshare.” Social media use can damage a personal injury case. Today, we want to talk about how social media can affect your case and steps you can take to prevent that from happening.

Why social media can hurt a case

If you have been injured and are pursuing a personal injury case with insurers or in civil court, you are likely working to receive compensation against a negligent party. By now, it has become natural to share major life experiences through social media, and a personal injury may be something you want to share. Your attorney may advise you to be careful, though. There are various ways that you could hurt your personal injury case.

Whether you are fighting insurance companies or another party, you need to know they will do everything possible to win their case and pay as little in a settlement as possible. That includes scanning your social media for evidence to be used against you.

You may contradict your testimony

As an example, let’s say you are making a personal injury claim due to chronic pain from a back injury that occurred in a commercial truck accident. If you post photographs of you at an amusement park riding a rollercoaster or jumping around at a trampoline park, you can be sure the defense is going to challenge your injury claims. They will print all of your posts and photos, including the timestamps, and bring them to show a judge or jury. Contradictory social media posts can end your personal injury case before it even gets started.

Remember the check-ins

Facebook, Foursquare, Google Reviews, and other sites all allow you to “check-in” and let the world know what you are doing and where you are. Please understand that it will not look well for your claim of limited mobility if you check-in at the gym for three hours.

Comments on your post can hurt your case

Even if you just share that you have been in an accident, the comments made by family and friend on those posts could hurt your case. They could post information about the incident that has not been made known to the public. They could discuss how much compensation you are trying to get. Comments could even reveal that you were out and about doing physical work despite you not posting directly about that.

Why are social media post admissible?

You may consider your social media posts as private, but that is not the case. You need to remember that once it is on the Internet, it really is not yours anymore. Your statements to others outside of court are admissible because you are a party to the personal injury case.

If you are bringing a personal injury case, you should not post anything personal on social media. Stick to liking/resharing other people’s posts or sharing news articles.

Posted in: Personal Injury

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