When it comes to personal injury claims, posts on social media can damage your case. It has been said that social media is forever. We know that is true when we see celebrities and politicians publicly embarrassed by something they posted to social media several years ago. Social media will almost never help your case. Those who have been injured need to know what to avoid doing on social media and how posts by others can also damage their case. In this article, we’ll discuss how to protect yourself online and provide recommendations for safe social media use. If you’ve been injured in an accident and have questions, our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help.
What Lawyers Look For on Social Media
When investigating and proving personal injury claims, attorneys use social media as a powerful tool to investigate the opposing party. You can be sure that the opposing lawyer will look for posts that may provide insight into the circumstances surrounding your injury, as well as posts that show the impact of the injury on your lifestyle. They also look for posts that can be used to cast doubt on your injuries. The opposing attorney may use seemingly unrelated social media posts to attack your claims.
The danger of social media is that one of your posts may be taken out of context. That picture you post of you and your family smiling and celebrating at a wedding may be used by the opposing party to claim you aren’t really hurt. The picture may not show that you arrived at the wedding on crutches or that you had to take pain medications to endure the event. Social media posts usually show us at our smiling best. Posts that were intended to show a happy moment can be used by the opposing party to paint a false picture that you have fully recovered. When you try to explain to a jury what your life is really like, the defense lawyer may argue that your social media posts are what you chose to tell the world about yourself and that what you are telling the jury is only for the purpose of getting money.
Your lawyers will also conduct social media research on the party who injured you. We have had cases where the defendant posted pictures that were inconsistent with their story at deposition or trial.
What Not to Do
It’s usually best to avoid posting on social media when you have a case pending, or at least minimize it. Common mistakes that can damage a case include posting pictures or statements regarding the accident or injury online or engaging in online conversations about the incident with other parties involved. Social media is risky because your posts can be taken out of context. Even unrelated pictures of yourself can be used by your opponent to imply that you are not really hurt. Such posts can be used as evidence against you, potentially weakening or even disproving your side of the story.
Additionally, you should be aware that posts by others may also have an impact on your case. Even if a post does not originate from you directly, it is important to remember that any post made by family or friends about your injury can be used against you, so it’s best to keep everyone in your circle informed not to discuss your case online and to avoid posting pictures of you online.
When filing a personal injury claim, individuals should take these steps to protect themselves online:
- Avoid discussing details of the accident or injury on social media sites;
- If you made posts before reading this article, do not delete your posts or social media accounts – you may be accused of destroying evidence;
- Make your social media accounts as private as possible – your attorney can guide you through the process;
- Avoid posting selfies or other photographs of yourself online;
- Ensure family and friends are aware of what not to share online; and
- Reach out for legal advice if you’re unsure about a post’s implications for your case.
Protect Your Rights With Our Representation
Understanding how social media plays a role in personal injury claims is key for both current and prospective clients who are considering legal action. If you have been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact our Overland Park personal injury attorneys. Call (913) 839-2808, or email MSB and let us help you through this difficult time.