Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram are more popular than ever before. The popularity of YouTube is on the rise as well, according to Our World in Data which reports these sites are used by more than two-thirds of all people who use the internet. People share all kinds of information on these sites, which may not be such a good idea for those who have suffered injuries caused by the negligence of others. What should you know about social media and your personal injury case? The Georgia personal injury attorneys at Hall & Lampros, LLP are available for those who want to reach out at 404-876-8100.
Defendants Will Try to Use Social Media Against Plaintiffs Who Have Legitimate Claims
If you have a claim for personal injury, civil rights violations, unpaid wages, discrimination, or harassment, you can bet that the defending lawyer will try to find social media posts by you that he or she can use against you. In most cases, the social media post is harmless, but defense attorneys may try to use them “out of context” and present a picture of you that somehow helps their case by making it look like you are not really injured or in pain or that you consent to the use of inappropriate language or behavior.
The Internet Is Eternal
Any information posted on the internet lasts forever, which is why it is best not to share any information regarding an accident or injuries in the first place. Many people falsely believe they can delete a post or erase history and it will never be found. This is not the case and when a post is deleted, it may make insurance companies or even jurors in a personal injury lawsuit suspicious. Insurance companies use social media frequently when investigating accidents. One short text or photo could be all it takes to put a personal injury claim in jeopardy.
How Social Media Can Contradict a Victim’s Claims
Many people are unaware of the risks their own social media engagement poses to their injury claims. The fact is, those posts that seem innocent in the moment can prove disastrous to a personal injury case, leaving victims with no relief in terms of compensation from the negligent party. Here are two important things to keep in mind regarding social media and your personal injury case:
- A virtual persona may not align with claims of injury and pain. Social media posts often depict lives filled with enjoyment, activities, vacations, frequent traveling, and so on. After someone is involved in an accident or injured, these types of posts lead insurance adjusters or jurors doubting the victim is actually in pain or suffering.
- Social media posts and other content may contradict that an accident or other event was the sole cause of the injuries or pain the victim suffered. Perhaps a victim’s condition worsens, and something shared on social media lends to the belief by those who were at-fault that there are other factors following the initial incident that resulted in worsening pain or suffering. This makes it possible for the at-fault party to claim they owe no or very little compensation.
Those with questions or concerns about their social media use and personal injury claim may want to consider scheduling a consultation with Hall & Lampros, LLP.
What Injured Victims Should Avoid on Social Media
According to the American Bar Association, social media has become an unequaled source of evidence in the area of personal injury as well as in criminal, family, and employment law. Those who have been injured and want to pursue justice should avoid:
Injured victims often want to talk about how they feel after suffering an accident or other event that left them injured. Friends and family members understand the relevancy of a post that shares how great they feel after they have suffered injuries, however an insurance company or jury will take it literally. A simple comment may be construed by a jury as someone who is exaggerating their injuries.
Discussing the Injury or Accident
It is natural for family members and friends to inquire about an accident or injury via social media platforms such as Facebook. Many victims feel that if they intend to tell the truth inside the courtroom, telling the same story online will not be a problem. One comment by a family member leads to another one by friends, replies by the victim, and on it goes. This increases the risk something will be said along the way that could be detrimental to a personal injury claim. Never discuss the accident or injury online, period.
Sharing Videos and Photos
A lengthy recovery from a serious injury leaves many wanting to share their recovery journey through photos and videos, but this should be avoided. Any photos or videos depicting social gatherings, eating with friends at a restaurant, or enjoying a family gathering at a barbecue can give the impression of someone living an active lifestyle or one that is not encumbered by injuries or pain.
Consider Visiting with Hall & Lampros, LLP
Social media is entertaining, fun, and useful for some purposes. Those in need of more information or who have questions about social media and your personal injury case may want to consider visiting with Hall & Lampros, LLP at 404-876-8100.
Chris has successfully represented numerous clients in catastrophic personal injury, employment law matters, class action, consumer protection, business tort, and legislative matters involving multi-million-dollar damages.