Some pieces off advice bear repeating again and again… and again. One of them is about being careful about what you post on social media. This guidance typically gets brought up as it relates to job hunting or family matters, but it’s just as paramount in personal injury cases.
It’s important to understand that if there is evidence that undermines your personal injury claim — it can be and very likely will be used against you. That’s why a status update, message to friends, and even selfies need to be submitted with absolute scrutiny so that insurance companies or defense attorneys don’t use them to their advantage.
In the case of personal injury, it’s typical to file claims asking for compensation for medical bills or for the suffering caused by the physical injury. Social media can threaten these claims. For instance, imagine you’ve filed a claim for a serious injury caused to you because of being rear-ended in your car. A posted photo of you at the beach can be taken out of context to show you are faking your injury. This is exactly the sort of evidence that may sway a jury’s opinion — leaving you without compensation for medical bills, inconveniences caused by pain, and psychological distress.
Many people believe they have a greater entitlement to privacy than they do. The hard truth is, just about anything you send, submit, post, or share is up for grabs to create a defense against you. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will use whatever they can to poke holes in your claim. Just because your messages to your friends are private to you, doesn’t mean it can’t be used against you.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken after a personal injury accident. We suggest converting all social media accounts to private to at least narrow down the audience of who sees what you share. Second, examine very, very carefully what you decide to post before you post it. Does it insinuate you’re healthy and happy, despite making a personal injury claim arguing you’re not? Then don’t post it. The same goes with your family and friends. Kindly ask them to refrain from positing about you for the time being. It’s not easy removing ourselves from the social media sphere temporarily, but respecting the process of winning a personal injury claim is well worth it in the end.