You’ve been hurt by someone else’s negligence and you’re ready to seek compensation. Have you considered how your social media presence could be harming your case? When it comes to limiting payouts and even completely denying settlements, there isn’t much that insurance companies won’t do to prove that their client is not responsible for an injury. Here’s how your social media accounts could weaken your personal injury claim.
What You Say About the Accident
Any posts you make about the accident, what led up to it, and how you are recovering could be used against you. Maybe you posted pictures of the accident, described it, and ended with “Don’t worry—everyone is safe and doing well!” That seemingly innocuous statement could be used against you as proof that you weren’t actually injured in the accident.
Maybe you posted a Facebook update shortly before the time of the accident. The other side’s attorney could use this as proof that you were using your phone at the time of the crash and are, therefore, responsible for your own injuries.
Perhaps you went out a few days after the crash and posted pictures from the beach. Sure, you just laid on the beach and rested your still-sore-from-an-accident body while your friends swam, but the pictures you posted sure made it look like you were getting around fine and that your life was not at all impacted by the accident.
Yes, all of this is unfair—but that doesn’t stop the other side’s team from using it against you.
Comments from Friends
Even your friends’ and family members’ posts could be used against you in a personal injury case. Maybe your well-meaning mom posts pictures of you at the hospital after a slip and fall. You’re giving a thumbs up and smiling, so how hurt can you be, really? What the picture doesn’t reveal is that you were under massive amounts of pain medication because of the severity of your injury. Again, no matter what the reality of a post, the appearance of it can easily weaken your case.
Or think about how friends often connect with each other when someone is going through a hard time. You post about your car accident. Your best friend, trying to lighten the mood and help you smile during a difficult time, replies, “So, when are you taking us all out for dinner and drinks with that sweet settlement money?” You know it’s a joke and anyone who reads it knows it’s a joke, but suddenly the other side is using it to show that your claim is a scam and that you’re just making a cash grab.
Your Activity Level
As noted earlier, it is possible that completely innocent posts will be used as evidence that your injuries aren’t as extensive as you claim. If you are sitting around trying to recuperate after an accident, you might think it is a good time to catch up on social media. You flood your page with photos from your last family vacation, including tons of photos where you are going out dancing, hiking, and otherwise enjoying an injury-free life. While a quick clarification about the timeline of those photos would clear this matter up in court, it could still delay your case and cause you unnecessary stress.
How do you avoid these pitfalls? Ideally, stay off of social media after an accident until the claim is settled and paid out. This is hard for many people, especially when you need support and want to turn to your friends and family. However, do your best to keep these interactions private.
No matter how careful you are about your social media posts after an accident, they can only weaken your case. The other side will never present this information in a way to support your case; they will do whatever they can to use your own words against you. If you have a public social media presence, lock down your profiles so only current friends can see them. This will prevent investigators and others from digging through your old posts for information that may discredit you.
If you’re facing serious losses due to injuries caused by someone else, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill. To get help with your personal injury case, call the team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815 or reach out to us online.