After an Accident: Be Careful on Social Media

Accident

In today’s age, it isn’t uncommon for people to turn to social media when they want to vent, connect with other people, or find solace or distraction during difficult times. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’re turning to social media after suffering a personal injury, you might want to think twice.

The content you post, share, comment on, or are tagged in can all be used as evidence against you when filing a personal injury claim. And if you don’t know what the liable party’s attorney is going to be looking for, you might not know how to protect yourself. The following guide outlines why being active online could be detrimental to your case, as well as offers some tips to avoid complications.

3 Ways Social Media Can Negatively Impact a Personal Injury Case

1. It Could Call the Value of Your Claim into Question 

One of the most common methods insurance adjusters use to try and save money on paying out personal injury claims is to monitor the social media profiles of the victims. When they do this, they’ll look for any opportunity to prove your claim isn’t really worth what you say it is.

For example, perhaps when you were working with your attorney to calculate an injury settlement for your case, you determined you were owed compensation for broken bones. This could be disputed if the opposing party’s insurance company finds pictures or videos of you out with friends in which you aren’t wearing a cast. It wouldn’t matter if the picture was actually from a period before the accident—in this case, the insurance company would have significant negotiating power to deny paying out at least part of your settlement.  

2. It Could Cause a Liability Dispute

Unfortunately, in personal injury claims, the burden of proof falls on the person seeking damages. Furthermore, it’s the responsibility of the claimant to take the necessary steps to mitigate any further damage. For instance, immediately after your accident, you’ll need to see a health care professional and follow their orders for treatment and recovery. 

Unfortunately, activity on social media can be used to prove that you’re doing the opposite. For example, checking in at restaurants or stores, sharing live videos where you’re moving around, or even posting late at night when you should be getting rest. If the other party’s insurance adjuster finds this online activity, they could use it as proof in an attempt to claim you are partially responsible for the severity of your damages. 

3. It Could Give the Other Party Insight into Your Legal Strategy

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to inadvertently give away details about your case or legal strategy. “Liking” or sharing content could allow the opposing party to glean clues about the case. They might use this to evaluate how you plan to prove their liability or how you plan to prove the severity of your damages. 

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What Can You Do to Prevent Unexpected Issues?

The safest approach during this time is to temporarily deactivate all your social media pages. Even if your page is private, there are still ways for lawyers to access information about your activity; temporarily taking the profiles down will prevent this from happening. 

Also, ask close friends, family members, and witnesses to avoid posting anything on their pages that could harm your case. This could include updates about your health, pictures of you, or statuses with questions asking for legal advice. 

Social media has proven to be a valuable addition to society. But like everything else, there’s a time and place for using it. When you’re putting together a personal injury claim, your best bet is to stay offline until the proceedings are through.

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