In a world where we share every detail of our lives on social media, it's becoming increasingly important to be conscious of what you're putting out there. This is especially true when undergoing a legal battle—even those involving personal injury.
Many people don't realize that what they share online can significantly affect their personal injury claims. Even something as small as doing a "check-in" at a location can and will be used against you in court. In this blog, we will discuss how social posts and general online behavior can affect your claim and some alternatives to implement during this time.
Social Media Use and Personal Injury Claims
Social media can be a powerful tool in any case, especially those involving personal injury. Insurance companies often look through every social media channel to investigate potential claimants. This is done in an attempt to find posts or images that contradict the claimant's statement about their injuries. For example, if you claim to have a debilitating back injury but post pictures of yourself at an event or the gym shortly after filing, the opposing party can use this against you in court.
Furthermore, other people posting about you can do just as much damage. If a friend posts about you being out, active, or even playing sports, insurers can use this to discredit your claim. Alternatively, if you were tagged in a post at a bar the day or night of the accident, it could call into question your sobriety at the time (especially in motor vehicle accident cases).
What is Fair Game in the Courtroom?
Your social media presence is considered a public record, and you are adding to that record with each post, photo, check-in, etc. Because of this, generally, everything shared on a public account may be considered fair use during your claim.
It is important to note that your privacy settings only sometimes guarantee protection. Although you may have chosen to keep certain content private, a judge can still grant access if it relates directly to the case. You should also be conscious of what family and friends share about your incident online. Although social media has become a space to shame others, especially through contentious legal battles, it often does more harm than good.
To avoid any issues arising from your social media activity, it is best to take a break from using it altogether. This may require some self-control, especially for those who are used to posting daily updates about their lives. You can also use the help of a friend or family member to monitor your accounts and keep them free of any posts that could damage your claim.
Another alternative is ensuring you have a unified message across all your accounts. This means that you must be aware of what is being posted and ensure it aligns with the same story you tell in court.
Ultimately, it is essential to remember that social media can significantly impact any personal injury case. It is crucial to be conscious of what you share online and what others might share about you.
Need Legal Assistance? Call Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC
If you have been injured and are considering a personal injury claim, it is essential to understand the potential consequences of your social media activity. Experienced legal representation can help you navigate the complexities of these cases and ensure that all evidence presented in court is valid.
At Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC, our attorneys are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services to our clients and will work hard to ensure you receive the highest possible compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our team today by calling (480) 999-9181 or filling out this short form.