How Social Media Can Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

In the age of digital connectivity, the profound influence of social media extends far beyond sharing life updates and connecting with friends. It has also cast a compelling shadow over an unexpected arena – the realm of personal injury claims. As individuals increasingly share their experiences, activities, and emotions online, the content they post can have a profound impact on the outcome of their legal cases. In this article, we delve into the complex connection between social media and personal injury claims, and how online posts can become pivotal evidence, with the potential to alter the course of a claimant’s pursuit of justice and compensation.

How Can I Avoid Self-Incrimination on Social Media During a Lawsuit?

Social media is one of the easiest ways to self-incriminate. If you are claiming personal injuries in a lawsuit, the opposing parties and insurance adjusters will likely monitor your social media platforms. If there is any activity on your pages, including posts, photos, or comments, that contradict the level of severity you are claiming, it can be used to undermine your case. For example, if you claim you are unable to do physical activity, but you post a photo at the gym, it shows that the injury does not impact your life in the way you are claiming it to. Also, what you saw on social media can be used as statements against you. Even seemingly innocuous comments can be taken out of context, misconstrued, or used to show that you admitted fault or may have downplayed your injuries. This is why it is extremely important to avoid discussing the details of your accident or its related injuries on your social media accounts. Even if it’s just casual discussion with family and friends, you must still remain vigilant because their statements or commentary can be used against you if it is contradictory to your claim.

Should I Delete Social Media Posts to Protect My Personal Injury Claim?

Many people assume that if their social media accounts are private, that only their followers have access to their content. Little do they know that insurance companies and attorneys have various ways to gain access to your profiles. Even if you delete posts, they may still be accessible through data archives or through opposing parties. Deleting posts following an accident can be interpreted as an attempt to hide evidence. Adjust your privacy settings  to limit who has access to your content, and be mindful when accepting friend requests from usernames that you don’t immediately recognize.

How Does Exaggeration and Surveillance Affect Personal Injury Claims?

In extreme cases, insurance companies hire private investigators to conduct surveillance on the claimants. They typically compare surveillance footage collected by the PI with information posted about your daily life to determine if the injury is being exaggerated. If you post about your injuries in a manner that exaggerates or misrepresents the facts, it can harm your credibility in the courtroom. Always be truthful when discussing your case online.

In summary, there are plenty of ways to protect your personal injury claim on social media. Limit your social media activity, adjust your privacy settings, and be mindful of what you post and comment. Finally, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your social media activity. They can provide professional guidance and advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do online to protect your claim.

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Leigh A. Raffauf

Partner, Harrell Injury Law

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