People across the globe enjoy the convenience of using social media and the communication links that it provides for accessing friends, family, business associates and the general public. What can come to issue is the fact that if you’re claiming injuries and damages from an accident, social media is one of the first places that an opposing insurance company will look for you and follow your actions. If something is found about you that can negatively affect your claim or lawsuit, that insurance company or its lawyers will want to use it against you. Here’s how they might do that:
Disputing the Extent of Your injuries
You don’t want photos of you to arise showing you on a dance floor of a club with a margarita in your hand during your supposed period of recuperation from your injuries. A single picture can say a thousand words. It could also reduce a settlement or jury verdict by thousands of dollars.
Generally Attacking Your Credibility
Part of the job of insurance investigators and adjusters is to uncover evidence that can be used against a claimant to attack his or her credibility. Even if a claimant didn’t post a potentially damaging picture, and a friend or family member posted it for the world to see, most judges will allow it into evidence. What it purports to show need only be relevant and material to the facts and issues in the case.
Using Inconsistent Statements Against You
Something that you said on social media in the past might be inconsistent with your present testimony. Judges routinely allow prior inconsistent statements into evidence for a jury to consider. Prior inconsistent statements are an exception to the hearsay evidence rule.
What You Can Do and Shouldn’t Do on Social Media After Being Injured in an Accident
It’s not beyond an insurance company or its attorneys to use social media posts against you out of context. That’s why you should preserve and protect your right to full compensation for your injures and damages. Here’s how you can do that:
- The best thing that you can do is to stay off of social media after your accident. If you intend on using it anyway, never directly or indirectly mention your accident or injuries,
- Don’t post any travel plans or photos of any kind during the pendency of your claim or lawsuit.
- Tell your family members and friends not to post anything about you, your accident or your injuries.
- Don’t accept new friends on social media. That friend request might be from an investigator or adjuster.
- Set the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts to the highest level possible.
- Whatever is said between you and your attorney is confidential. Always maintain that confidentiality whether you’re on or off of the internet.
Any personal injury case has its own complexities. At a minimum, using social media while pursuing such a claim or lawsuit can make your case even more complicated. You can diminish its value or even put your entire case at risk. Rather than posting about your accident and injuries online, consult as soon as possible after your accident with an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer. Your questions will be answered, and all of your legal alternatives will be laid out for you. It’s far better to receive accurate legal advice in person from a trusted legal professional than from a friend or family member online.