Social media is a part of the fabric of modern-day life. It allows people to share news, updates and details with friends, family or followers. Individuals who have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, the victim of a premises liability accident or harmed by medical malpractice may want to share information or vent about the situation online. However, this can be a big mistake.
Social media posts and personal injury cases
Posting about a car accident or medical situation may harm a possible personal injury case. The post might provide details that contradict those contained in official reports, or the poster might make an off-handed comment that could cause problems when he or she testifies later in a deposition or at trial. An example of this involves posting about a slip and fall injury. It would not be a good idea to:
- Post information about a recent ski trip or other demanding physical recreation.
- Post a check-in about a favorite workout class.
- Post about garden projects that involve physical labor.
These types of posts might show that the injured victim is active and engaging in pre-injury activities. Even though the poster might still be unable to use the injured body part fully while engaging in these activities, the photos and information could be used to argue that the poster is not really hurt.
Injured people who file a lawsuit certainly must be completely honest about their injuries. Still, they also need to be aware that insurance companies and their attorneys may dispute the severity of the injuries. During the case’s discovery process, the defense likely will search online for posts, photos or information that they believe contradict the claim.
Stay off of social media or make your profiles private
It is better to be overly cautious about social media no matter how innocent or unimportant the post topic is. Investigators and researchers may even be able to find posts that have been deleted. Even genuinely injured people can weaken their case if they create confusion or apparent contradictions in their posts. Those with questions about social media and their lawsuit can discuss them with their attorney to determine the best way to handle them.