Everyone is online these days, with social media being a particularly popular way to spend time on the internet. With so many people using sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram almost like a personal diary, they will inevitably discuss their accidents (often with strangers). Unfortunately, many personal injury victims have sabotaged their cases by not watching what they say online. Here are some ways social media can destroy your case.
Why You Should Avoid Social Media After Your Accident
First, and perhaps most obviously, a social media post can make it appear that your injuries are not that bad. Most personal injury victims suffer some kind of setback in terms of their daily lives. That means their ability to participate in routine activities will likely be limited. If you are on social media with pictures of yourself at the beach or running a marathon, are your injuries that bad? If you’re posting constant updates about all of the fun things you’re doing, are you experiencing pain and suffering? A jury could call that into question.
This is true even if your injuries are not inconsistent with whatever activity you’re depicting on social media. Let’s say you were in a bad accident and have to wear a cast for a while on your arm or leg. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with going to the lake and laying out in the sun. However, it paints a bad picture and opens the door for a juror to question you. There’s no need to plant a seed of doubt in anyone’s mind when so much compensation is on the line.
Social media can get you in trouble in ways other than poorly timed photos and updates. You may be tempted to go online and blast the business or company that was responsible for your injuries. Some victims vow to “make them pay” or brag to friends about how much money they will get for their injuries. Bad idea. This sort of behavior creates negative impressions with juries and could cost you substantial amounts of money.
Your social media history can also come back to bite you, even for things that you posted long before your accident. Insurance companies and others are well-known for hiring private investigators to dig up what they can on victims. If there’s anything you’ve ever posted that calls into question your honesty or character, there’s a good chance someone will find it.
You should also be aware that even with the strongest privacy settings, an ambitious accident defense attorney can learn things about you. That’s why your best bet is to deactivate or suspend your social media accounts while your accident case is pending. Talk to your lawyer about the best ways to do so.
Finally, tell your family and friends to avoid posting anything about you or your accident on their accounts (or as a comment on yours). Even something relatively innocent can be misinterpreted or invite further investigation from the other party. There will be time later for everyone to talk about your case. Now is not the time.
Contact Hale & Monico Today to Get Started
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury, give us a call at Hale & Monico. We will advise you on the best way to go about your case and avoid unnecessarily risking anything with social media. Reach out to us today.