Hundreds of millions of Americans post on social media every day, sharing all sorts of bits from their personal and work life. While it can be highly validating to rally online support, posting about your injuries can severely hurt your case if you have an open personal injury or workers’ compensation claim.
Social media is not the place to show pictures of the accident you were involved in or the ongoing details with friends and family. It’s also not the place to post videos of the conditions that led to your injuries or conversations with possible liable parties.
Providing information on your injury claim on social media platforms can not only hurt your chances of securing the compensation you deserve, but may result in the dismissal of your claim altogether. In the worst cases, sharing or removing social media content can result in criminal charges filed against you. Before posting anything on social media, read the risks below to protect your injury case.
Social Risk Factors Affecting Your Injury Claim
We’ve all seen those viral videos exposing others for negligent behaviors: on the road, at work, in public settings, or even at a private residence. But no one ever talks about what happens when these videos are intercepted during a personal injury case. Posting information on social media concerning your accident can expose your case to the wrong audience: the defense.
Not only can your posts hurt your claim, but your online presence and activity as a whole can have a significant impact. It's important to know exactly what type of social media actions you should avoid when you file a claim to prevent complications.
Social Posts Are Evidence
The content you choose to post on social media platforms can affect the validity of your case, whether it’s directly related to your injury or not. Any information you provide on your online accounts is evidence that can (and probably will) be used against you in a claim.
Social media can provide insight into your personality, habits, intentions, behaviors, and more. Try to keep your life as private as possible if you have an ongoing claim. Avoid posts that provide details on your injury, parties involved in your accident, the location of your accident, and your recovery progress. Posting content about your daily activities can put you at risk of being challenged regarding your injuries' severity.
If your accounts are public, that means anyone who needs information on your whereabouts and status has access to it. Change your social media account settings to private to keep your information among those who support you. Note: this action does not guarantee your information is inaccessible to the defense. Still, it can provide at least one layer of protection from defendants and insurance companies looking for easy excuses not to pay out benefits.
Accepting New Friend Requests
When you do make your social media accounts private, be very mindful of the subsequent friend requests that come through. Some defendants will create fake accounts to try and gain perspective on your injuries from your content. Play it safe and never friend anyone you do not personally know and trust.
Deleting Content Can Hurt You
Deleting content on social media that you believe could harm your chances of a successful claim may not be as helpful as you think. Do not delete any content from your pages if you have an active personal injury case. The National Law Review considers removing online content as spoliation– the act of altering or destroying evidence relevant to a legal claim. This action may result in criminal charges depending on your case and the type/amount of content you remove.
Be Careful With Comments
Commenting on other social media accounts can be just as damaging to your case as the content you post on your personal pages. If you have an ongoing personal injury claim, try to limit your comments, particularly on political platforms and controversial social topics. These are easy ways for the defense to use your words on hot-topic issues to diminish your character and claim.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
Navigating the waters of appropriate action on social media can be confusing, especially with hundreds of new platforms going up every year. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney on your case can help you avoid the pitfalls that often result in lost compensation. Your attorney will advise you on what steps you should be taking concerning your social media presence, specific to your case before you have the chance to jeopardize it accidentally.
Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to protect your rights. At Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, we have decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut residents injured in negligent acts. Call our experienced team of personal injury attorneys today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.