Can Social Media Impact My Personal Injury Case?
In an age where it’s normal to share your life with strangers on the internet, it may seem harmless to post about your personal injury case or recent accident on social media. This is a major mistake, however, that can come back to hurt you later. If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to stay off of social media altogether.
Can Social Media Content Be Admitted as Evidence in a Personal Injury Case?
More people have access to – and will take the time to peruse – your social media accounts during a personal injury claim than you may realize. The things that you say on the internet, no matter how casually, can give the opposing side of your personal injury case evidence against you. Even if you have your social media accounts set to private, an attorney can get special permission from a judge to access your information anyway.
A judge will deem social media content admissible as evidence in a personal injury case if it is relevant to the matter at hand. The risk to you is that an insurance company will do anything it can to avoid paying out a personal injury settlement. This includes twisting almost anything that you post on social media around to use against you. It is in your best interest to avoid social media completely while your case is pending.
How Social Media Can Damage Your Personal Injury Case
After you file a personal injury claim in Alabama, the insurance company will assign someone known as the claims adjuster to analyze your claim. The claims adjuster will delve into any possible source of information and evidence against you. You can be sure this includes an internet search. If you are active on any social media platforms or accounts while your personal injury case is pending, what you post is fair game. Here are some examples of how your social media activity can be damaging:
- Comments about the accident. An insurance company can take your version of events and use it to prove that you caused your own injuries or are an unreliable witness.
- Photos of you. Pictures of you on vacation, at a bar or restaurant with friends, spending time with your family, etc. could be used as evidence to undermine your claim to pain and suffering damages.
- Location tags. Where you spend your time can be used as evidence that your injuries aren’t as serious as you’re claiming. A location tag at a bowling alley, for example, would not help your case if you’re claiming a broken wrist.
It may seem harmless to post something that is not directly related to your accident or personal injury case, but keep in mind that an insurer can use almost anything to argue against liability. Do not expect the insurance company to fight fair – it is a for-profit business that will do what it can to protect its profits. This includes finding and utilizing anything that can hurt your case on social media.
Social Media Tips During a Personal Injury Case in Alabama
You don’t want to give the other side anything that they can use to combat liability for your injury. The best way to protect yourself from saying or posting the wrong thing online during a pending insurance claim or injury lawsuit is to stay offline. If this isn’t something that you can do, use the following tips to protect yourself as much as possible:
- Don’t post anything.
- Tell your friends and family members not to post anything about you or tag you in photos.
- Don’t comment on other people’s pages or posts.
- Don’t tag your location.
- Set your profile to private.
- Don’t accept any new friend requests.
Don’t use your social media account for anything except staying up to date with what’s going on with others. This includes instant messaging, as the courts can grant access even to private electronic messages, in some circumstances. Keep all of these tips in mind before you jump back on social media after a personal injury accident.
Call us today to speak with a Birmingham personal injury lawyer.