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How Can Social Media Hurt My Personal Injury Claim?

| Jun 9, 2020 | Car accidents, Motor vehicle crashes |

Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide or about 45% of the current total population.  It has become an easily accessible platform that so many people dedicate hours of their day reviewing, reading, or making multiple posts a week.  In fact, it has become quite common to grab a cell phone immediately after waking up in the morning just to see what everyone else is doing or posting.

Most people tend to make very innocent posts to update followers and friends about our daily lives or significant events.  However, if you have been injured in a car wreck or any other kind of incident, it is generally NOT a good idea to update your followers on any of the social media platforms.  Insurance companies will search all of your posts to try and find things that could potentially discredit your injuries or minimize the eventual value of your claim.  Your desire to vent about what happened or post pictures of your damaged car can be interpreted many different ways by a potential jury of twelve strangers.  Defense attorneys will do their best to spin your post to fit their narrative of the case.  Very simply, your post might provide them the information to do it!

Here are some basic tips to protect yourself on social media:

  • Do not accept friend/follow requests from anyone you do not know personally. This tactic is very effective for someone more interested in how many followers they have as opposed to whether they actually know the person.
  • Do not post any comments on your page about your car wreck, the person that caused it, the investigating officer, your treatment, or even what the weather was like on the day the wreck happened. This also applies to any other kind of personal injury claim.
  • Do not post pictures of your injuries, your damaged vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, the scene of the wreck, or anything else on your page related to the wreck. While it is true that photographs can tell a story, sometimes the defense attorneys will try to spin a completely different story than your own.
  • Do not “check in” at a location while you are recovering from your injuries. If you dropped your spouse or child off at the gym on your way to a doctor’s appointment and you “checked in” at the gym, then it will be spun to try and say that you were working out and not really hurt.  Or, if you “check-in” while having dinner at a restaurant that has a bar, they may try to claim that you were there drinking and partying for a night out even though you “claimed to be hurt”.

Although you may never intend to do more than update your family and friends about your injuries and recovery, social media does not go away.  Take the time to pick up the phone and call those close to you or have someone do it for you.  I am sure everyone you love wants to know, but there are far better ways than posting it online for too many eyes to see.