Careful Using Social Media While Pursuing an Injury Claim
Social media is just a fact of life in modern society. A stunning number of Internet users – almost three-fourths, according to Pew Research Center in 2014 – use some form of social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or something else. Social media has many benefits, such as helping you stay connected to distant family members or connecting you to new prospective employers. But what you post on social media can come back to bite you, especially if you are in the middle of a personal injury claim.
If you are involved in an accident and are seeking damages for physical injuries, be wary of what you post on your social media accounts. The person or entity that you are seeking damages from will do everything in his, her or its power to minimize the amount of damages it must pay for causing your injury. So, if you are claiming physical injuries, chronic pain or an inability to enjoy activities that you were able to prior to your injury, the things you post could undermine your claim. Suppose you suffer an injury in a car accident and claim you are now unable to enjoy hiking like you used to. But, soon after, you go for a hike with some friends and post a picture of the trip on your Instagram. You can bet that the opposition’s attorney will find that photo and use it as evidence against your injury claim.
It’s not just photos, though – even text posts can undermine a claim. Suppose you claim that you suffered emotional distress as a result of your injury, which has left you isolated and friendless. Yet, your birthday comes around and your Facebook page is flooded with best wishes from your friends. Or suppose you claim severe depression, yet your Tumblr blog is full of inspirational stories and posts written by you. It might seem like a bit of a stretch, but those posts might be used to disprove your claim of emotional distress.
Do yourself a favor – if you are involved in an injury claim, stay away from social media.