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Yes, Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

Social Media and Personal Injury Claims

Social media is an integral part of our life today. You want to share with those dear to you and make those who are far away feel as if they are with you. You talk about what is happening in your daily life, your frustrations and achievements, your health, activities with the kids and more.

So, to keep everyone updated, you may be likely to share on social media about being in an accident, injuries sustained and if you plan to pursue a personal injury claim. Just life events and it is your social media so why not?


Why Not Post on Social Media?

You’ve been involved in a car accident in which you suffered a back and neck injury. You cannot walk or sit without severe pain and are unable to return to work immediately. You decide to file a personal injury claim against the other driver. You post pictures on Facebook of you engaging in activities with your kids saying how you are recovering; friends and family post questions to you about how you are feeling.

Unfortunately, social media updates can backfire on you if you are pursuing a personal injury claim. Maybe you post a picture of you where you appear to be doing things you should not be able to do because of your injuries. Or, you might say something that unintentionally contradicts your statement or that of others involved. Posts, pictures and status updates like this can hurt your claim.

If the defense attorney or the insurance companies find pictures and posts like this, they can use it against you, leaving you high and dry, getting no compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional or psychological injuries.


Social Media is Private, Right?

You may think your privacy would shield you from anyone using your status updates and pictures against you, but you should know that just about anything you send, post or share is open to be used – for your claim as well as for the defense.

In Missouri, trials must follow the Missouri Rules of Evidence. Under these rules, statements that people make outside of court are typically considered to be hearsay and are inadmissible; however, as always, there are exceptions to the rule.

When you file a personal injury claim, the statements that you have made outside of court can be used against you because you are a party to the case. The statements that your family and friends make on social media are also admissible to the extent that they contradict any testimony that they give on your behalf in court. For instance,

  • You can unintentionally contradict your own testimony.
  • You may show, or make it appear that, your injuries are not as extensive as you claim.
  • You may appear to be pursuing a personal injury claim for purely financial reasons, not to heal.
  • If you claim to suffer from depression from the accident, posting happy, festive pictures can call your credibility into question.

But what do you post when you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit?

Nothing, especially, do NOT post

  • Check-ins.
  • Status updates of your injuries
  • Photos of you doing activities
  • Photos of you drinking alcohol
  • Anything related to your personal injury case

Checking in on Facebook, Foursquare or other sites can show that your participating in activities that contradict the injuries you are claiming, and location posts can be used as well.


SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

Make sure all your social media settings are set to private, or the highest level of privacy offered. Be aware that switching your profile from public to friend only may not give you the protection you expect but it can help narrow who can see what you share. Keep in mind, the defense may file a demand to produce documents including copies of your social media pages even if your account is private.

Make sure you do this with ALL your social media accounts. Facebook is probably the most social, but think about Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others.

  • Do not accept invitations from people you do not know.
  • Take a break from social media while your suit is pending, or at least limit your social media presence until your claim has been fully resolved.
  • Best advice is to not post at all. however, if you do, be cognizant of the content before hitting Send. Your comments and photos can destroy your case.
  • Avoid posting angry comments about the defendant or anything related to your claim.
  • Do not send emails, post updates, post photos about your injuries or discuss your case with anyone other than your attorneys.
  • Ask all friends and family to refrain from posting anything about you or your situation on their social media accounts.
  • Disallow access to your content by people outside of your connections and do not allow your connections to share your content to their friends or family.
  • Search your own name to see what is out there about you.

If you say something on social media that works against your case, it can hurt your chances of recovery.


HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

DO YOU NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE?

When you want to obtain compensation for your personal injuries, you wlll need to prove who was at fault. Depending on your situation, this can get complicated. With the help of a personal injury lawyer the odds of a successful outcome increase.

Contact the capable counsel at Nash & Franciskato. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

CONTACT US FOR A FREE REVIEW OF YOUR CASE

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