How your social media posts could affect future personal injury lawsuits
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
You’ve probably heard the conventional advice about watching your posts on social media platforms to protect your future job opportunities, but you might not have considered how seemingly innocent photos, status changes, or tweets could affect your chances of winning a personal injury case.
Defense attorneys can use social media posts in court to downplay your claim of physical or emotional injury or suffering.
Social media posts as evidence
Social media pages are permissible evidence in most courts as they are considered discoverable evidence. Even posts on private pages can be printed and used as evidence in court.
Social media mosts are considered relevant if they can shed light on the material truth of the plaintiff’s claims. If you post about physical activities that a defense attorney could allege are inconsistent with your injury claims, the post will be considered relevant evidence.
If your personal injury case goes to court, it will be up to your attorney to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused you legally recognized harm. The defense attorneys can use your online posts to draw doubt to your claims of injury or the defendant’s liability, which can weaken your case.
Even before a case goes to court, insurance companies have been known to hire insurance adjusters to investigate a claim, which often involves ransacking social media pages.
Social media in personal injury cases
A personal injury claim is an attempt for compensation for harm caused by the negligence of the defendant. Harm can take the form of physical injury or pain, disability, lost ability to lead a normal life, inconvenience, impairment, dis-configuration or scarring, mental suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, lasting injury, and medical expenses.
Compensatory damages can be awarded to restore accident victims to their pre-injury condition. Plaintiffs who can show they have suffered physical or nonphysical harm due to negligence may be entitled to this economic compensation.
Social media pages are often used as highlight reels to show exciting and pleasant events in life, which can work against accident victims. Defense lawyers and insurance companies attempt to decrease their liability by undermining your claim in this type of litigation.
In the past, social media posts have worked effectively at casting doubt on injury claims, resulting in lower rewards for accident victims.
How to manage social media during a personal injury case
You can take steps to protect your personal injury case from a social media misstep. Primarily, refrain from posting on your social media accounts until after litigation has been completed. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your pages are switched to private status, but keep in mind that private posts are still admissible in court.
The safest option is to completely remove your social media accounts. However, avoid deleting posts, as this can be considered tampering with evidence.
Monitor what others are posting on social media accounts and ask your friends and family not to post pictures of you or tag you until the case has been closed.
If you chose to keep your account and make posts, don’t comment on people involved in the case. Anything negative you say publicly may be considered defamation. You should also not post anything related to your injury, mental state, or your activities; you will probably have to explain these posts in court.
Be extra cautious about online texting and messaging. Double-check the recipient to avoid complications.
Other steps to take
Many accident victims need help getting the compensation they deserve for their suffering. If you are involved in a car accident or other personal injury, seek legal advice to learn about how to protect your claim.
If an insurance company offers you a low-ball settlement that doesn’t cover the cost of medical expenses or take into account loss of income of personal suffering, you might need help from a professional to get proper compensation. A personal injury attorney will prove an invaluable resource as an expert equipped to fight for your rights.
The experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay for these legal services if you win your case.
Defense attorneys in personal injury cases will often look to Facebook accounts and other social media pages to find evidence that weakens your injury claim.
Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. is a trusted law firm that can help you win the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.