Can Social Media Hurt My Personal Injury Claim?
November 23, 2020
In recent years, insurance companies and defense attorneys have turned to reviewing injured plaintiffs’ social media accounts for evidence they can use to defend against a personal injury claim. Although most people don’t post anything that might be useful to the opposing party in a personal injury case, there have been plenty of cases in the past where injured plaintiff’s cases were defeated when their social media posts were used to contradict their allegations or legal claims.
Posting the wrong thing on social media can seriously harm or even defeat your personal injury case. This is why it is critical to speak with an attorney about what you should not post on your social media accounts and about steps you can take to prevent your social media posts from being used against you in your case.
Read more: How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
How Social Media Affects Personal Injury Claims
Although some personal injury attorneys may recommend that you completely refrain from social media until your personal injury claim is resolved, many of us use social media to stay in touch with distant friends and family, so completely avoiding social media isn’t a viable option. Opposing parties in your personal injury claim, including insurance adjusters and defense attorneys, may regularly review your social media accounts for information on posts or for photos or videos that you post that they can point to as contradicting official allegations or statements you have made in your case.
For example, if you claim that you have suffered serious injuries that keep you out of work or make it difficult or impossible for you to complete tasks of daily living, posting photos or video of yourself participating in recreational or sports activities or posts of yourself traveling may be cited as evidence that you are not as seriously injured as you claim.
Discussing your accident and injuries with friends and family on social media can also hurt your personal injury claim. If you describe your accident in a different way to your official complaint or testimony, your posts can be used to argue that your allegations aren’t credible. Or you may end up saying something that can be used as proof that you bear some or all the fault for your accident and injuries.
Even the geolocation features of social media can contradict your official claims about where you were as it relates to your accident.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Claim While on Social Media
In order to avoid your social media posts being used as a defense against your personal injury claim, you should consider taking the following steps:
- Avoid posting anything about your accident, injuries, or recovery, and remove any posts that refer to those topics
- Avoid posting photos or video of yourself, especially if you are still claiming injury and disability, and especially if those photos or video can be construed as showing you to be active or less injured than you claim
- Ask your family, friends, and social media contacts to refrain from discussing your accident, injuries, and case on social media, or from tagging you in posts (detag yourself if someone does post about you or tags you in a post)
- Set the visibility of your account to only those people you have connected with on the platform, so that your account and/or posts are not visible to the public or indexed by search engines
- Do not accept any new connection requests, especially if they come from someone you do not know — they may be insurance adjusters, investigators, or defense law firm staff looking to gain access to review your social media posts
Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients injured in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Essex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly