It’s common for people to regularly post on social media platforms regarding daily activities and other aspects of their lives. Many want to share the highs and the lows of their life experiences online and, after an accident, may feel compelled to talk about it and an impending personal injury claim.
However, sharing on social media might negatively impact your claim, so you must be careful, particularly if you were injured and are trying to recover compensation. Social media posts often contain information that can be used against you. So if you were in an accident and wonder how to proceed, contact a knowledgeable Kansas City personal injury lawyer who can explain the process for submitting a claim, pursuing compensation for your damages, and help you do the right things to support your case.
Social Media Can Be Used as Evidence Against Your Personal Injury Case
When it comes to defending a case, insurance companies and their lawyers use numerous tactics to discredit the plaintiff, which is normally done by conducting a thorough investigation of the plaintiff’s lifestyle, background, and social activities. In the past, private investigators would be hired to gather this intel, but today, much of it can happen online, especially through social media.
Only a short time ago, social media didn't have such a major influence on a client’s personal injury claim. However, now there are numerous platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, and more are popping up all the time. It’s a standard practice by most lawyers in personal injury cases to request information from your social media sites. In fact, the courts regularly allow the opposing party to submit into evidence information gathered from your profile, including posts, photos, and videos. Any attempt to claim the information was private or gathered improperly is null, as what you post online is public property and can be used against you.
Insurance carrier lawyers have become quite skilled at searching and viewing social media accounts—even when they’re private. Once an insurance company has access to your profiles, its team will meticulously sort through everything you’ve ever posted, try to find something that opposes what you are claiming in your personal injury suit, and use this discrepancy against you.
Protect Your Case With These Social Media Tips
It’s wise to stop using all social media platforms until your case is over. However, in this day and age, many cannot go without posting to social media. Therefore, when building a personal injury case, your attorney will ask you to follow this advice to avoid having social media impact your chances for a fair settlement.
Don’t Post About It
Specifically, don’t post about:
- Conversations with your lawyer
- Information regarding your medical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis
- Frustrations with the insurance company or opposing party
- Email or phone conversations with anyone involved in the case
You may think your post is vague and doesn’t reveal anything important, but you never know how the opposing side could use your posts against you and jeopardize your claim.
Limit Photos, Posts, and Check-ins
One of the most essential elements of a lawsuit is proving economic and non-economic damages. Insurance carriers make every effort to minimize the damages they might have to pay you. Everything you put online will be viewed from the lens of the claims in your personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you assert that you sustained serious injuries caused by another party’s negligence that negatively affect your daily life but post photos or videos of hiking or playing sports, the opposition might raise serious doubt regarding your claim.
Even seemingly innocuous posts can be used against you—such as regularly checking in at restaurants, parties, or other events. If your attorney has outlined in your lawsuit that your injuries resulted in a loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, or emotional distress, posts like these make it appear that you’re living well and enjoying life as usual. Additionally, sometimes people are tagged in photos they never intended to share, so ask friends and family not to do this, either.
Avoid New Follower or Friend Requests
In many cases, insurance companies or other parties may try to connect on social media to get easier access to your photos and information—sometimes even going as far as to create fake profiles. Surprisingly, even information cultivated through a fake account is admissible as evidence. So don’t accept any new requests unless you know the person well.