Social media has completely changed our lives in the last two decades. Many of us enjoy using social media to connect with friends and family, or to catch up on the latest news. However, social media can pose a number of legal challenges when it comes to personal injury claims. Those who have a pending lawsuit should be extremely cautious posting on any social media platform, as social media can negatively impact personal injury cases. Mentioning specifics of your case or revealing too many personal details about your life on social media channels, especially if your profile is publicly accessible, could severely harm your ability to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Find out more about how to handle social media with your personal injury claim by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney at Fletcher Law Office today at (816) 631-2868.
Protecting Yourself Is Crucial on Social Media
When you use any social media account including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, or another platform, consider all of the persons who could potentially access what you post, including the defendants in your lawsuit and the lawyers that are working for them. Unfortunately, the lawyers for the other side will be looking for any information that can throw doubts on your credibility, the severity of your injuries, or the cause of your injuries. The following are practical ways to ensure that your social media will not cause you to lose the compensation you deserve in your personal injury case.
Check Your Privacy Settings on Your Social Media Accounts
First, you should seriously consider what you post on any social medial account. However, your next step should be to attempt to limit the number of people who can access your social media profiles and the content you post. You can do this by changing your settings from “public” to “private”, for example on Facebook and Instagram. This action can partially protect you from attempts by the defendant and their lawyers to access any information. However, having a private profile does not mean that you should go ahead and post on social media. According to Bloomberg, even a non-public account does not guarantee that the information you share remains private.
What You Post Can Provide Evidence Against Your Case
Remember that everything you post that could potentially contradict your personal injury claim can also potentially diminish your legal right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses, such as taking part in any physical activities while you are supposedly recovering from injuries. Posts giving an insight into your private life are particularly risky and could prohibit you from recovering the compensation that you deserve.
Scrutinize New Friend Requests
It can also be important to scrutinize any new friend requests while you have an ongoing lawsuit. Do not accept anyone that you do not know personally during this time, as they could be attempts from the other side to get access to your private information and content. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Commenting on Other Social Media Posts
While you have an ongoing personal injury lawsuit, you may also reconsider revealing any information by commenting on other social media users’ posts. Remember that you remain unable to control the privacy of someone else’s social media profiles. Your comments could end up in the wrong hands due to being publicly accessible.
How Social Media Can Harm Your Ability to Receive Compensation for Your Personal Injury Claim
Social media can sabotage your personal injury claim in a number of ways. The following activities can be particularly damaging:
- Posting pictures of any physical activities while suing for debilitating injuries
- Posting confidential settlement details
- Checking-in at a gym or sports class while claiming to be immobile
- Posting about working while claiming lost wages
There can be many other ways in which social media posts can contradict your claim. Any indication on a social media account of engaging in activities that would be in direct conflict of your testimony in a personal injury case could be used against you to lower or even eliminate your ability to receive compensation from a negligent party.
Never Delete Anything From Your Social Media Accounts
In some cases, you may make a mistake and carelessly post on a social media account regarding certain activities. In these cases, you should avoid removing or deleting any of the posts or pictures you place on your social media accounts. According to the National Law Review, “purging” information from your social media account could constitute spoliation. Spoilation is the act of destroying or altering evidence relevant to litigation. In some cases, spoilation can be a crime.
Best Course of Action for Your Social Media Accounts
Since social media affects personal injury claims, you should consider severely limiting or even completely stopping the use of any social channels while you are dealing with a personal injury claim. If you would like to continue using social media during this time, make sure that you absolutely do not mention anything regarding your court case or your activities. You could also try to limit yourself to interacting with close friends only on social media.
A Court Can Order Your Social Media Posts
Many victims of someone else’s negligence may not even be aware that their social media posts can be admissible by law, and may potentially be used as evidence against them. This does not only include the content and comments that you post on any of your social media channels, but can also include comments or posts by your friends and family. In some cases, the court may request information from your social media accounts even if your settings are private. If you have temporarily deleted an account, a court order could demand that you reinstate the entire account and provide printouts of your past social media activity. Remember also that even permanently deleted content can potentially be recovered and restored.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case
If you suffered injuries and losses as a result of a personal injury claim, you should consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help provide you with legal guidance and assistance throughout the process of attempting to receive compensation for your claim. Our experienced attorneys at Fletcher Law Office can help you build your case and file your personal injury claim. We can help gather the necessary evidence as well as represent you in court if the insurance company fails to provide you with a full and fair settlement offer. Working with a dedicated personal injury lawyer can take a weight off your shoulders and give you the reassurance that your legal rights remain protected. Our attorneys understand the way in which social media affects personal injury claims and can advise you of your best course of action with respect to your social media accounts. Contact us today at Fletcher Law Office at (816) 631-2868 for a free evaluation of your personal injury case and to help you understand your legal rights.