When you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, you’re lawfully entitled to collect compensation. But it’s not always that simple. When you’re going through a personal injury lawsuit or attempting to file an insurance claim, it’s imperative to understand all the different factors that can hurt your chances of getting compensation. One factor that accident victims often overlook is the risk associated with their social media.
According to JusticePays, social media posts could make or break your case. Keep reading to understand how to protect yourself from the harmful repercussions of social media mistakes during a personal injury case.
- Anything you post or say online can be used against you! Insurance companies have a lot of resources to spare on undermining legitimate claims like yours because they don’t want to pay the money you are owed. In addition, the attorneys on the opposing side will be looking for anything to use against you to discredit your case and entitlement to compensation. No matter how harmless or neutral a social media post might seem, it can be twisted and used against you. For example, you might post an update that says “Still shaken from the accident but not in as much pain now, thanks to everyone for your concern!” The opposing party or your insurance company could twist this to use as evidence that you aren’t badly injured and don’t deserve compensation.
- Privacy settings don’t guarantee privacy. No matter what your settings are, anything you post online can become public.
- Posting ANY details could hurt your case. Never post any details about your injuries, legal proceedings, insurance, or the accident – including photos, discussions, frustrations, updates, attorney opinions, diagnoses, and doctor’s reports, according to HG.Legal. This refers not only to your physical injuries, but also to any property damage incurred in the accident (such as your car), any emotional or psychological harm, and/or any details or photos from the accident scene.
- Photos and posts involving physical activity could compromise your case. Avoid posting photos or details of you doing or participating in any kind of physical activity after the accident and during your personal injury case. This even includes photos of physical activities related to your recovery or physical therapy. You’d be surprised what can be used against you in a legal case! You don’t want to give the opposing side any potential evidence that the accident injuries aren’t impacting your life negatively.
- Travel posts can be used against you. Do not post travel photos or text related to traveling after your accident or during your personal injury case. Again, insurance companies and the other side’s attorney can use this to say that you aren’t being hampered enough by your injuries to merit the compensation you’re asking for. They can also argue that travel is expensive and therefore you don’t really need the compensation as much as you say.
- Your friends and family could unintentionally hurt your case. Alert your friends and family about the risk of social media during this time. Talk to your friends and family about the dangers of having something posted on social media being used against you in court. Ask your friends and family not to post anything related to your accident and/or injuries and not to tag you in any posts or photos during this time. Even a family member tagging you in an innocent photo such as you playing with your dog could be used to your detriment – if insurance companies or the opposing side’s attorney use it to prove that you aren’t injured enough to receive compensation. A concerned family member might post an update informing their followers that you are recovering, but this can be used against you to say your injuries and pain and suffering don’t merit compensation. If there is any indication that you are recovering or don’t need continued medical care, insurance companies and opposing attorneys can use this to decrease the compensation you receive.
If you feel you cannot trust your friends and family to listen to your warnings, or you worry about yourself forgetting and posting something that could compromise your case, you might consider temporarily shutting down your social media until after your case has been finalized. When in doubt, don’t post! And let your friends and family know about this helpful rule!
Have you already posted something or been tagged in a post that you fear will be used against you? Do you have questions about personal injury compensation in Albuquerque, New Mexico? We’re here for you! Call us at 505-207-4401 or contact us online!
Law Office of Brian K Branch, PC
715 Marquette Ave. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102