Ways that Your Personal Injury Claim Can Be Hurt by Social Media
Social media usage has become very common over the past few years. These platforms provide easy ways to share information about ourselves and connect with our friends and family.
However, even with all the benefits of social media, some posts can come back and hurt users later. Injury victims are prone to these kinds of issues. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we strongly recommend that in the course of your injury case, you should use extreme caution when making social media posts.
Ways Social Media Can Harm Your Personal Injury Case
We have already mentioned that social media can help us do great things; however, some posts can hurt you and your claim when pursuing an injury claim. While these platforms are popular for being “non-serious,” some things you say can work against your case and compromise your recovery chances. Some statements can make people doubt your claim and see you in a bad light.
You Can Post Statements Contradictory to Your Claims
As you post on your favorite social media platform, you may end up making statements that can contradict your testimony. For instance, posting about going bowling can contradict your claims of having broken your arm in the accident. That is enough for the defense to start challenging your injuries. An injury claim demands full honesty about your losses and injuries, which means contradictory posts on social media can destroy your case.
A popular type of post on social media is a check-in, which shows you are at a particular place. Some check-ins can contradict and compromise your case. For instance, the defense may doubt your limited mobility claims if your Facebook shows you checked in at your yoga class. Location-based posts can hurt your case more than you think.
You May Show Things You Can Do
You may accidentally show things you can physically do after your injury. For instance, if you claim to have a broken leg and post a photo of your kids on a hilltop, the defense side may ask who took the photo. If you’re the one, they will now have proof that you climbed to the top of that hill. It may be an old photo, but you may not want the defense side asking questions and being doubtful about your injuries.
Friends’ and Family Comments on Social Media
Even other people’s statements can hurt your case, not yours alone. You may have discussed some things with your friends and family in person, and they may bring those statements on social media. For instance, they may start talking about your desired compensation amount, showing you as a bad person.
Some Things Can Slip Unknowingly, Even With Better Caution
One mistake many people make is thinking about using extreme caution and care when creating social media posts. They promise themselves to read and re-read each statement before posting. However, sadly, you may say some things unknowingly that can be used against you. The other side can even twist your posts and give them another meaning that hurts you. When your compensation is at risk, even monitoring your posts isn’t any better.
Allowing Friends Only to See Your Posts Isn’t Any Better
Even if you make your page private, allowing friends only to see your posts, there are ways the other side can use to know what you’re saying on social media. One, they can ask for information from any of your friends if they know them. Second, they can use your state’s discovery rules that require you to show social media records. Even with your page set to private, the side you’re up against can demand records of your social media.
How Social Media Battles Affect the Court Process
Social media battles can significantly complicate your claim. You and your lawyer may have to make several trips to court to resolve issues on whether social media records are necessary. Note that courts have eliminated social media privilege, which means you can still produce records even with your page set to private or friends only.
Social media discovery aims to uncover anything that may be relevant to the case. The other side may require you to produce records in large amounts hoping they’ll get something to back their fight. This can make your case complicated, stressful, and more time-consuming.
How to Use Social Media With an Ongoing Injury Case
In the course of your injury case, refrain from making any personal posts on social media. If you can’t avoid your favorite platforms, stick to sharing news and liking other people’s posts. Speak to your friends and family tell them not to talk about anything related to your case. To ensure you’re on the safest side, everything about you and your case should stay out of social media until the matter is resolved.
We at Oberheiden Law Can Help
To maximize the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in a personal injury claim, an experienced injury attorney is vital. He/she assists with building a strong case, filing, and presenting it. A lawyer also acts as your guide to advise on things to do and ones to avoid to simplify your case and make it as successful as possible, including using social media carefully.
A simple mistake can completely ruin your case and compromise your compensation; hire an experienced attorney to guide you through each step. Contact us at Oberheiden Law for professional legal representation.