Can Social Media Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

  • By:David Bate

Almost everyone uses social media daily, but could it impact on your personal injury claim? We update friends and family with what is happening in our lives through posts and pictures covering our day to day lives, vacations, and hobbies. Some also use social media to vent frustrations. If you are seeking damages for a personal injury claim, the things you post on social media may hurt your case, as a personal injury lawyer can attest. For example, if you filed your claim in hopes of seeking damages for pain, loss of mobility, and that pain changed the way you live and the activities you are capable of completing, the defense will search your social media for proof that your everyday life has not been affected by the pain you say that you experience. If you go on a camping trip, for example, and post pictures riding bikes, hiking, etc., the defense will use this against you. Something as small as a post about a recent grocery store trip may be used against you to show that you are able to carry out everyday tasks just as you did before the personal injury claim. What the defense searches for on your social media pages depends on what you are seeking damages for: pain, loss of mobility, inability to enjoy activities, loss of enjoyment of life, and much more.

Anything that you post on social media is public and can be used. Even posts created by friends that are about you or related to you can also be used. After your accident, temporarily suspend your social media accounts to prevent posting anything that may ruin your personal injury claim. Many people think that what they are posting is harmless to their case when it is in fact harmful. Also ask your family and friends to temporarily refrain from posting anything related to you after your accident. Set your account on private, do not accept any new friend requests during the time of your claim, and take a much-needed break from social media to prevent affecting your personal injury claim. If you are unable to abstain from social media and feel the need to continue to post about yourself and life; do not post about your accident, claim, recovery, or any photos of yourself. Removing past posts, such as ones complaining about similar pain you received from the accident, is also important. After cleaning up your social media and limiting your posts, Google yourself to see what comes up. This will allow you to see exactly what the defense sees when they search you.

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