July 31st, 2023|
Social media has become an integral part of many people’s daily lives. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat provide users with an avenue for self-expression, sharing updates about their activities, health, and emotions.
The prevalence of social media means that information is readily shared. However, this can have unintended consequences if you are involved in a personal injury claim. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often use social media platforms to gather evidence and challenge the legitimacy of victims’ claims.
Understanding the potential impact of your social media posts on your case and working with a California personal injury attorney to represent your interests can help you receive the compensation you’re owed after an accident.
Defense attorneys and insurance companies may seek to undermine a personal injury claim by using social media posts that depict you engaging in activities or expressing sentiments that don’t align with your claimed injuries and damages.
For example, you claim to have suffered a debilitating back injury in a car accident, but your social media accounts showcase pictures or videos of you participating in sports or strenuous activities. This can cast doubt on the severity of your injuries.
Even an innocent post can undermine your claim and affect the outcome of your case. For instance, a post such as – “Just had an amazing workout at the gym! Feeling stronger than ever! 💪 #FitnessGoals #NoPainNoGain” – can be presented as evidence that your physical condition is not as serious as you report it to be, potentially reducing your compensation.
Posts about traveling or engaging in leisure activities can also be used to argue against your assertions of emotional distress or the accident’s impact on your daily life. For example, if you claim to have developed severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic incident, but you post – “Having the time of my life exploring beautiful destinations! ✈️✨ #Wanderlust #TravelAdventures” – the defense may argue that you aren’t suffering emotional distress after the incident.
While adjusting privacy settings can provide some control over who can access social media content, it is essential to recognize that even with strict privacy measures in place, anything posted online can potentially be uncovered and used in a lawsuit.
The legal principles surrounding using social media content in legal proceedings revolve around discovery rules and privacy laws. Discovery is a legal process that allows parties involved in a lawsuit to obtain relevant information and evidence from each other.
Courts generally allow the discovery of social media content if it leads to admissible evidence. This means that if the content on social media is relevant to the case, it can be requested and potentially used as evidence, regardless of privacy settings.
To protect the integrity of your personal injury claim, adopt some of these best practices for social media use:
- Limit your posts: Limit your social media activity while your personal injury claim is ongoing. Avoid posting about the accident, your injuries, or any activities that could contradict your claims. Also, ask your friends not to tag you in any post while your claim is pending because it could harm your case.
- Be wary of friend requests from unknown individuals: Exercise caution when receiving friend requests from unknown individuals during your claim. Insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, or their representatives may attempt to gain access to your social media content by posing as someone else.
- Consult with an attorney before sharing claim-related posts: Your attorney will have the expertise to help you navigate the legal complexities and ensure you don’t inadvertently harm your case. Consulting with your attorney before sharing any information can help safeguard your rights and strengthen your position in the claim.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and are seeking compensation in a personal injury claim, speak with our attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers and learn how we can support you throughout the process.
Our experienced lawyers understand the intricacies of social media and its implications for your case. We can advise you on protecting your privacy, avoiding damaging your credibility, and ensuring that your online presence aligns with your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.