If you have experienced a traumatic event such as an accident, it’s normal to want to share the information with your friends. However, if you are involved in a personal injury claim, it’s important to the success of your case that you be mindful of the things you post on social media. Your public posts may be used by both sides in the trial and may hurt your chance of receiving the compensation you were hoping for.
Using Social Media In Accident Claims
To receive compensation for a personal injury, you will have to prove that you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. In turn, the opposing party will gather evidence to contest your claim. To prove your injury, the court will typically require medical records, a statement by a medical professional as well as a witness testimony. In addition to that, it may be helpful if friends and family members can explain how the accident has affected your life. Your attorney will help you gather the requested information.
The opposing party may try to prove that they did not immediately cause your injuries and are not responsible for your pain and suffering in order to avoid having to compensate you. Social media can be very effective when trying to demonstrate a person’s level of anxiety and stress after an accident. Nowadays, photos on social media of something as simple as you spending a night out on the town with your friends can be used by your opponent to question the injuries and stress you have been experiencing since the accident.
Even if the night-out was only a one-time thing, perhaps your friends just wanted to get you out of the house and help you forget what happened, it may be turned around and held against you in court.
Gathering information on social media is very convenient because everything is time stamped and can be followed in chronological order. A lot of times, pictures posted on social media sites contain additional information, such as the place where they were taken and the names of the people you were with. You might have commented on the pictures or responded to comments your friends have left. All of this data can be used in court to suggest your state of mind at the time of your post as well as the time of your comment.
Even if not everything you share on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram is technically admissible in court, the other party’s attorney will try to use what they can get to prove that your claim is not sustained.
How To Handle Social Media Account During A Personal Injury Case
Here are a few tips on what you should NOT post on social media while involved in a personal injury claim:
- NO posts directly related to your claim! Do not talk about meetings with your attorney, doctor’s visits or any direct communication with your insurance company.
- NO pictures of your injury or damage.
- Do NOT reply to anyone else’s post regarding your situation. Contact your friends offline and ask them not to discuss your case on social media.
Here a few things you SHOULD do instead:
- Change your privacy settings and make sure only friends can view your posts.
- Ask your friends and family not to post any pictures or stories about your injuries, your accident or your life in general to avoid getting on the opposing attorney’s radar.
- Remove any past pictures and stories that may hurt your case and refrain from posting while the case is ongoing. Once your case goes to trial the judge may ask you to refrain from making any further changes to your account.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the attorneys at Rivas Law Group can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven or Lutz.