In this technological age, it is common for people to regularly post on social media platforms regarding our daily activities and other aspects of our lives. An accident is a traumatic experience to endure. Many people want to share both the highs and the lows of their life experiences online and may feel compelled to share about their accident and ensuing personal injury claim. There are so many platforms to share on, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and more are popping up all the time.
However, it is best practice to be careful with the information you share online, particularly after you’ve been injured and are trying to recover compensation. These social media posts can oftentimes share too much information and have an adverse effect if you have sustained an injury and are trying to recover your losses.
If you were in an accident in Kansas City and are wondering how to proceed, contact a Kansas City lawyer who can explain the process for submitting a claim, pursuing compensation for your damages, and who can advise you on the best practices for being awarded compensation. Please contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer at (816) 578-0580, who can help guide you.
Social Media Can Be Used as Evidence Against your Personal Injury Case
Social media did not have as big of an impact on a client’s personal injury claim just five years ago. However, with each passing year, social media’s influence is growing. Defense lawyers rarely asked for access to clients’ social media accounts 5 years ago. However, today, it is a standard request by most lawyers in personal injury cases to request information regarding the social media sites you are on.
The courts have realized the potential influence that social media postings can have on personal injury claims. Therefore, courts regularly allow the opposing party to submit into evidence information gathered from your profile, including posts, photos, and videos. Any attempt to claim that the information was private or gathered improperly is null, as the information you post online is public property and can be used against you.
When it comes to defending a case, insurance companies and their lawyers make it their number one goal to discredit the plaintiff, which is normally done by conducting a thorough investigation of the plaintiff’s lifestyle, background, and social activities. Social media is one of the most powerful tools in the investigation process and one of the easiest also. In the past, private investigators would be hired to conduct this sort of investigation, but today, much of it can happen online.
Insurance 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 social media profile, their 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.
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, it is prudent to heed the following pieces of advice when posting on social media:
Do Not Post About the Case
Your personal injury attorney will tell you that it is never wise to post anything related to your case on any social media platform. Specifically, you should not post any of the following:
- Conversations you had with your lawyer
- Information regarding your medical treatment and/or diagnosis
- Frustrations with the insurance company or opposing party
- Email or phone conversations with anyone involved in the case
Insurance companies are highly trained at devaluing your claim and will do everything in their power to strengthen their case and weaken yours, which includes using your social media posts against you. 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. Using social media can quickly become a double-edged sword that can end up costing you your personal injury claim.
Limit Photos, Posts, and Check-ins in General
One of the most essential elements of a lawsuit is proving your damages. In addition to attacking your credibility, insurance companies will make every effort to minimize the damages they might have to pay you. Therefore, it is especially wise to be extra cautious regarding the information you post from your life. It may seem obvious to state, but everything you put online is going to be viewed from the lens of the claims you are making in your personal injury suit. If you are claiming you sustained serious injuries that are negatively impacting your day-to-day life, but you post photos or videos of yourself hiking or playing sports, it can cast serious doubt regarding the genuineness of your injury claim.
However, even seemingly innocuous posts can be used against you. For example, if you regularly check in at restaurants, parties, or other events, it can cast doubt on any claims you make in your suit regarding your loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, or emotional distress since you appear to be living and enjoying life as usual. Additionally, it is important to note that sometimes people are tagged in photos they were not intending to share on social media. Therefore, do not allow your friends to tag you in such photos or check-ins either.
Avoid New Requests for Followers or Friends
In many cases, insurance companies or other parties may try to connect on social media to get easier access to your photos and information. Do not accept any new requests unless you know the person well. Insurance companies have been known to create fake social media profiles to gain access to private social media profiles. While it’s generally a bad idea to accept friend requests from people you do not know, you should especially avoid making new connections online when you’re involved in a lawsuit. You could unknowingly be providing information to insurance personnel that can be used against you. The information gathered from the fake accounts is admissible as evidence.
Kansas City Car Accident Attorney
If you have sustained any type of personal injury, you will want to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. Engaging an experienced attorney early will give you access to wise counsel who can advise you on the best ways to pursue a compensation claim. They can also advise you on the best things to do and things to avoid to maximize your personal injury recovery. Having experienced counsel on your side will give you peace of mind that someone is on your side fighting for what you.
The lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C. can help you file a claim and get you the money you deserve. Contact our Kansas City personal injury lawyers today to learn more about your legal options. Contact Peterson & Associates, P.C. by calling (816) 578-0580 to talk to a Kansas City personal injury attorney for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers is standing by to help you.