In today’s world, social media is prevalent. Social media has the power to do good. But, if you are bringing a personal injury claim social media can hurt you. If you say something on social media that works against your case, it can hurt your chances of recovery or recovering fairly. You might say something that calls the facts of the case into doubt or something that makes you look bad.
How can Social Media hurt your personal injury case?
You May Contradict Your Own Testimony
You may end up saying something on social media that contradicts what you’re claiming in the case. For example, say you are claiming that you have a broken arm. However, if you post on social media that you’re going bowling, then the defense is going to challenge your injuries. When you have an injury claim, you must always be completely honest about your injuries and losses. Contradictory social media posts can completely ruin your case.
Additionally, check-ins on social media can show that you are participating in activities that contradict the injuries you’re claiming. For example, if you’re claiming you have limited mobility, you shouldn’t check in at your weekly yoga class. Additionally, location posts can count as evidence against you.
You May Show What You’re Able to Do
Comments From Family and Friends
Even the things that other people post on social media can hurt your case. They might contradict your claims about your injuries. They might make statements about how much money you want to get paid for your losses. These things can hurt your evidence in the case and paint you in a negative light.
Examples of How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
Even social media activity that you believe has no relationship to your case can harm you. The connections that a clever lawyer can make between your posts and your case are limitless. Nevertheless, here are a few specific ways that social media can not only undercut your personal injury claim but also sabotage your case :
- Picture of you drinking, driving, or a high-risk activity
- A picture of you posing smiling and laughing in pictures
- Pictures or videos of you dancing, hiking, bowling, or some other physical activity
- If you show off a home improvement project or sharing affiliate links for online work-from-home websites
These pictures and videos can be used against you if you are claiming that
- The other party was negligent/ the cause of the collision
- You have a loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering
- If you have any injures
- You have lost wages or loss of income
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Even posting something that you believe helps your case can invite a harmful response from a social media troll or another ill-willed social media user.
How Social Media Battles Playout in Court
A social media squabble can complicate your case. You and your attorney may have extra trips to court to hash out whether you have to produce social media records for the other side. On the one hand, courts have ruled that there’s no social media privilege. You can’t get out of producing relevant social media records by setting your status to friends only or private.
However, the key to social media discovery is showing relevancy. Georgia discovery rules don’t allow parties to demand large amounts of records in the hopes that they’ll find something helpful for the case. These conflicting legal priorities can result in a court battle that makes your case more complicated and stressful.
What can you do to prevent your social media activity from harming your case?
Unless you are addicted to social media, it should be pretty easy to prevent social media posts from damaging your car accident case. Here are five simple steps to ensure that your social media activity does not prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
1) Avoid posting content to Facebook and other social media sites until your case is resolved
Taking a break from social media until your case is resolved is the best way to prevent insurance companies from using material against you. In fact, you should never discuss your truck or car wreck on social media, as your words could be used against you. It is best to assume that anything you post on social media could be used against you in your case.
2) Adjust your privacy settings
As a Facebook user, you should review your privacy settings periodically to control who can view your profile and activity. This simple step is critical after a truck or car wreck, as you can help prevent investigators from knowing your location and seeing your activity. Also, you can also lock your timeline to prevent specific groups of people from seeing your posts.
3) Refrain from being in other people’s photos or videos until your case is behind you
Photos and videos posted shortly after your truck or car wreck can be especially damaging to your lawsuit. You can imagine how it might look if you decide to recover at your beach house and are shown in a video lounging by the ocean. However, even if you didn’t post the content to your profile, it could appear on your feed. Then, opposing investigators in your case could use the video to suggest that you are “faking” your injury to receive money.
4) If you are featured in the content on social media without your permission, call your attorney
5) Always follow the guidance of your doctor
When you seek medical care for injuries sustained in a truck or car wreck, your doctor will likely provide a treatment plan and recommendations to help your recovery. When your doctor advises you to stay in bed, do not push the envelope and try not to go to work, exercise, or go for a walk – even if you are beginning to feel better. If your activity is somehow captured in a social media post, it could impact your ability to be fully compensated for your injuries.