You may feel stressed and overwhelmed if you recently experienced an injury due to another person’s negligence. Filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company can help you secure the funds necessary to move forward. However, you may not realize that the actions you take now can impact your payout.
For example, did you know your social media usage can hurt your personal injury case? Posting anything potentially incriminating could cause the insurance company to deny your claim. Worse, if your claim goes to court, your social media use could cause you to lose the case.
Your Social Media Posts Could Serve As Evidence Against You
Whether pursuing a personal injury insurance claim or a lawsuit, you must provide evidence of your injuries. Typically, the worse your injuries are, the higher the payout you can expect to receive.
However, the insurance company’s legal team will also look for evidence that opposes your claims about your injuries. For example, these parties may search for incriminating text posts, photos, and videos on your public social media pages.
In a lawsuit, the judge may view anything you post on social media as evidence to support or hurt your case. As a result, your personal injury attorney will advise you to be very careful about what you post online leading up to your case.
“Checking In” Could Oppose Your Testament
If you’re in the middle of a personal injury claim, you’re probably experiencing severe injuries that impact your ability to work and move as freely as you’d like. As a result, you must prove that your injuries affect your lifestyle.
However, “checking in” to certain places on your Facebook page could contradict your testament. For example, if you have an injured leg and “check in” to a yoga class or dance studio, the insurance company could view this action as opposing your claim. They still look suspicious even if you didn’t complete any exercises in these locations.
The defense team can use any location you’ve “checked in” to during the case as evidence against you. For example, they can see that you recently got dinner at a restaurant with a friend and ask questions like, “How are you unable to work at a desk job, but you can sit at a restaurant with a friend?”
The Defense May Access Your Private Social Media Posts
Even if you think your posts on social media pages are private and only your friends can see them, the insurance company may still be able to get their hands on them.
Like many social media users, you probably have at least a few hundred friends or followers. You may not know all these followers in real life, so you can’t know their intentions. Someone from the defense team could have followed your account without you knowing or requested one of your current followers to send screenshots of your account.
This scenario may seem like a stretch, but it’s highly possible. As a result, you should avoid making potentially incriminating posts on your social media — even if you believe they are private.
Your Friends and Family Members’ Posts Can Affect Your Case As Well
As you prepare for a personal injury lawsuit, we recommend asking friends and family members to avoid posting about you on social media. The posts your friends tag you in show up on your profile, which could allow the insurance company to access them.
Any of the following “tagged” posts could negatively impact your case:
- Photos exposing what you are physically able to do
- Status updates where your friends describe completing an activity with you
- Videos showing you engaged in an activity you shouldn’t be able to do with your injury
Even if your friends do not tag your social media account, simply mentioning your name could be incriminating if someone from the insurance company sees the post. The best way to prevent social media use from damaging your case is to delete your account.
Greathouse Trial Law, LLC: Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Serving the Greater Atlanta Area
If you’re looking to improve your case outcomes, working with a personal injury attorney can help. At Greathouse Trial Law, LLC, we can provide legal advice and guidance throughout your case to help you avoid mistakes that could oppose your testament. Our personal injury attorneys can represent you in court, negotiate with the insurer on your behalf, and help you secure an adequate payout.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.