Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case: What Not to Share

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. We use it to stay connected with friends and family, share our experiences, and express our thoughts and feelings. However, when you’re involved in a personal injury case, the things you share on social media can have significant consequences. Let’s discuss how social media can harm your injury claim and some tips on how to protect your case by staying offline.

The Dangers of Social Media in Personal Injury Cases

Privacy and social media during lawsuits don’t mix. The things you post online are usually considered public, which can pose serious problems for your claim. The legal consequences of social media in personal injury and car accidents can be devastating, particularly if something is taken out of context. Here are a few of the most important methods of how these websites can harm your injury claim:

  1. Admissible Evidence: Anything you post online can potentially be used as evidence in court. This includes photos, videos, status updates, and comments. The opposing party can search for content that contradicts your claims about the extent of your injuries, your activities, or the circumstances of the accident. Even seemingly innocuous posts can be taken out of context to cast doubt on your case.
  2. Inconsistent Statements: Sharing details about your daily life or discussing your case online can lead to inconsistencies in your statements. For example, if you claim to have severe back pain due to an accident but then post pictures of yourself engaging in physically demanding activities, it can undermine your credibility and the severity of your injuries.
  3. Privacy Invasion: Insurance companies and opposing counsel may hire investigators to monitor your online activity. They may attempt to access your private messages, photos, or other personal information to gather evidence that can be used against you. This invasion of your privacy can be unsettling and intrusive.
  4. Lower Settlement Offers: If the opposing party or their insurance company sees that you are active online and appear to lead a normal life, they may be less inclined to offer you a fair settlement. They might assume that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, leading to lower settlement offers that do not adequately compensate you for your damages.
  5. Loss of Credibility: Anything you post online can impact your overall credibility as a witness. If the court perceives you as dishonest or unreliable based on your online activity, it can harm your case’s chances of success.
  6. Spoliation of Evidence: Deleting or altering posts after an accident can be interpreted as an attempt to destroy evidence. This can result in legal consequences and damage your case’s credibility.

In short, social media can hurt an injury case by providing the opposing party with information that contradicts your claims, introducing inconsistencies in your statements, invading your privacy, reducing settlement offers, damaging your credibility, and potentially leading to legal consequences if you delete or alter content. 

Protecting Your Personal Injury Case: Tips for Staying Off Social Media

When you’re filing a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to exercise caution with your online presence to protect your case and ensure you don’t inadvertently harm your chances of a successful outcome. Here’s what you should do with your socials during the process:

1. Temporarily Deactivate or Adjust Privacy Settings:

Consider temporarily deactivating your accounts for the duration of your case. This is the most effective way to prevent any potentially damaging content from being discovered.

If deactivation isn’t possible or desirable, adjust your privacy settings to limit who can see your posts and profile information. Make sure that only trusted friends and family have access to your updates.

2. Don’t Talk About Your Case

Avoid discussing any details related to your accident, injuries, or the progress of your injury case online. This includes not posting about the accident, legal proceedings, or settlement negotiations. Even venting or seeking emotional support can be misconstrued or used against you.

3. Keep Geolocation Services Turned Off

Avoid tagging yourself in photos or checking in at locations, as this can reveal your whereabouts and activities to the opposing party—turn off geolocation services on your devices to prevent unintentional location tracking.

4. Review Your Post History

Go through your existing social media content and remove or untag yourself from any posts, photos, or comments that could potentially harm your case. This includes content related to the accident, your injuries, or activities that may be inconsistent with your claims.

5. Talk to Friends Offline

If you need to communicate with friends and family about your case, do so offline through private messages, phone calls, or in-person conversations. Avoid discussing case details through public posts or comments.

6. Consult Your Attorney

Always consult with your attorney regarding your online activity. Your lawyer can provide specific guidance based on the details of your case and help you understand what is safe to share and what should be avoided.

Following these personal injury social media tips and your attorney’s advice can help you avoid accidentally harming your claim with your online behavior. 

Talk to the Experts About Personal Injury Claims and Social Media

Social media has the potential to harm your personal injury case by providing the opposing party with information that can be used against you. It’s crucial to exercise caution and limit your online presence during this time. Remember, when it comes to social media and personal injury cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.By following these tips and seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome in your case while keeping your personal information private. Schedule your consultation with the experienced injury lawyers at Fiore Achermann to learn how we can help you keep social media from affecting the outcome of your case.