For many people, social media is a part of their everyday life. Common social media websites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn. These websites all give users the opportunity to post pictures and videos of themselves engaging in everyday activities as well as special events. Although social media is a good way to keep connected with others, what someone posts on their social media page can have an impact on their personal injury case.
First, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to look at the social media profiles of injured persons. Therefore, if someone is claiming to be seriously injured and unable to do their job anymore, a picture of that person skiing or going on a long hike through tough terrain could compromise a personal injury claim. Further, pictures and videos usually do not tell the whole story, therefore there is the potential for them to be used out of context by the insurance company.
Second, the insurance company may try to use social media posts about you in court. Imagine that you have suffered an injury because of the negligence of another driver on the roadway that makes it hard for you to engage of your everyday activities. The injury has made it difficult for you to do chores around the house, play with your children and engage in your hobbies. You have also had to take significant time of work because of your injury to recover and receive medical treatments. You are worried about your job security and providing for your family.
After months of working on your recovery, you feel well enough to go out with your family. During the outing, a family member takes a picture of you that makes its way onto your social media accounts. In the photo you appear happy and it is clear that you are not inside your house.
The insurance company may try to use that photo of you out of context to show that you appeared happy and uninjured. The may try to argue that the picture proves that you are not that badly injured. What the insurance company won’t have and won’t show is pictures of your recovery, such as you laying on the couch in pain, you going through physical therapy, or the sleepless nights you have had.
Finally, even if you have extensive privacy settings on your social media accounts, the insurance company may still be able to gain access to the accounts. A court may order a personal injury plaintiff to allow the insurance company to access their profile. Further, it is possible for you to get in trouble for deleting information from social media accounts as a way to try to hide potentially damaging information.
If you have been injured, Martin Law Office offers free consultations. If you have questions about your case, it is a good idea to contact an experienced and knowledgable attorney.