Can Social Media Hurt My Personal Injury Case?
Social media and the internet, in general, have given us the ability to share our thoughts and feelings across the world in a matter of seconds. However, this can be dangerous to your personal injury case. In some cases, insurance companies could take your social media posts out of context. They could imply that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
Because of what is at stake, it is crucial that you take great care in how you make use of social media. One poorly worded post could diminish your chances of fair compensation for your injuries. A New York City personal injury lawyer can advise you on how best to approach social media use during your claim. Below are some of the ways social media can work against you.
Implying your injuries are not serious
Insurance companies investigating large liability claims have long made use of private investigators. Historically, this has involved attempts to document the injured party’s lifestyle to show their injuries are not as severe as they claim.
Today, this investigation is primarily done online. Many people voluntarily share stories and photos of their life. Unfortunately, this information can be used against you in many cases. For example, images that show you exerting yourself could contradict your claim that you are too injured to work. A post about how great you feel could discount your claim of suffering from emotional distress. You should assume the insurance company and their attorneys will read every word you post on social media.
Discussing your claim online
It is human nature to want to discuss important things in our personal life. However, discussing specifics about your injury claim could come back to haunt you. Any discussion could be problematic– your recollection of events from the accident can contradict your testimony in a deposition, for example. In other cases, the insurance companies could twist your words to suggest you know you were at fault in the accident.
Contacting the other driver online
You can also do tremendous damage to your case if it appears you are harassing the at-fault driver online. It is human nature to want to hold them accountable, but publicly attacking them on social media could be viewed as harassment. If your case goes to trial, a jury could hold that behavior against you. Also, if you ask or direct a friend or family member to carry out the harassment, you still risk a backlash in court.
Tips for avoiding social media mistakes
There are a few ways that you can avoid complications with your personal injury case through social media posting. The following tips can help you protect your claim.
- Stop posting on social media. This may sound obvious, but your best bet is to avoid this entirely. Insurance companies and their lawyers cannot take something out of context if you don’t post anything.
- Report harassment from the other party. If the at-fault party is harassing you online, report it to your legal counsel as well as directly to the social media platform.
- Listen to your attorneys. Your legal counsel has experience in dealing with social media in conjunction with an injury case. Follow their advice until your case is entirely resolved.
Speak with Douglas & London about your claim
If social media is a significant part of your life, the thought of giving it up during your injury claim might seem extreme. However, you can put your entire claim at risk with a single ill-advised post if you are not careful. Given the possibility of having insurance companies take your words out of context, it is best if you avoid social media entirely until your case is resolved. To learn more about how best to protect your claim or pursue compensation, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from Douglas & London right away.