After a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or another accident, you likely have a personal injury claim. These claims are generally handled and defended by the responsible party’s insurance company. Their lawyers will investigate your personal injury claim by various means, including your use of social media.
Do you use any kind of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.? Know that anything you post can and will be used against you!
Use of social media is widespread these days, and not just for millennials. Nearly all age groups are active users. If you have a Facebook account, chances are that you are linked to dozens, if not hundreds, more people.
Pew Research indicates that as of 2019:
- 69% of adults in the US use Facebook
- Instagram came in second at 37%
- 28% use Pinterest
- 27% use LinkedIn
- And 22% are on Twitter
Never before has it been so easy to share information with your friends and family within seconds. This can include a new dating partner, a vacation, or the details of your accident. But should you post information regarding your accident, injuries, and how it is affecting you?
Allegations in a Personal Injury Claim
When you start an injury claim, you’re allowing your physical and mental condition to be examined. For example, you may claim that your injury has caused you insomnia, anxiety, withdrawal, or depression. You may also have alleged a change in how you act around your family and friends.
Injured people usually claim that they can no longer engage in certain activities, such as their favorite sport. They may also say they can’t do routine tasks like cooking, cleaning, playing with kids, or lifting objects. Your claim can be supported and made more valuable by reliable evidence of how life has changed since were injured.
The insurer and attorney for the at-fault party will question and investigate all of these claims.
Should I Post about My Personal Injury on Social Media?
Anytime something important happens to you, it’s tempting to go to your Facebook page and immediately let your friends know. However, what you post online is no longer private information. If you file a claim in court, claims investigators and defense attorneys will carefully review all your social media. They’ll be looking for inconsistencies, admissions, information not previously revealed, and even evidence of fraud.
What Not to Do
Many attorneys believe that you should stop using any social media, at least until your case is over. Anything you post can be used against you, especially if you post something that’s different than what you’ve said before. Think of your filed complaint, written questions that were asked of you, or a deposition. Even the slightest difference in what you said before can make you look bad by a defense investigator or attorney.
In an actual case, a young woman claimed extreme emotional distress after an alleged sexual assault by a coach. Later she posted a photo taken that showed her drinking, laughing, and socializing with friends. Her claim was soon dropped.
Posting complaints about your injuries can be misconstrued. Many jurors are skeptical about people seeking compensation and will be unsympathetic if you appear to be playing the “victim.” With this in mind, talking about the details of your injury is not recommended.
Another thing to not do is to accept new contacts on Facebook. This could easily be an investigator who will dig for more information. In the same vein, you may want to have only minimum contacts with friends online. Anything you post that may appear harmless to you can be interpreted differently and used against you.
What to Do
On the other hand, social media could make your claim more valuable. This could happen if you simply post that you suffered a serious injury that’s changed your life. Whatever you post should be authentic and true to life. If you’re going to continue to use Facebook and other social media, discuss this with your attorney. They will help you regarding what to post and if you should be getting back to others.
For example, if you want to publish photographs of your vehicle and physical injuries, only use those that have already been approved by your attorney and sent to the defense. Any comments you make should be limited and approved ahead of time by your attorney. Increase your privacy settings so that you only share information with friends. Just remember that your friends may be interviewed by a defense investigator.
If you claim to have depression, friends’ sympathetic comments may not harm your case since you’re reaching out for support. Still, you should try not to explain anything or give any case details.
Consider staying away from certain posts, including:
- How the accident happened
- How your case is proceeding
- That the defendant is lying
- Updates on your condition and treatment
- How you plan to use your settlement
The best course of action is probably to stop posting anything. But if you simply must post something, have it reviewed first by your attorney.
Contact Brooks Law Group
Your claim should be handled by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Brooks Law Group can explain your case and what you should post on social media during your personal injury case.
In too many cases, injured victims have damaged their claim, resulting in compensation far less than they should have received. Brooks Law Group has been successfully representing the interests of injured parties and their families for decades. We serve those not only in Tampa, Winter Haven, and Lakeland– but the surrounding areas of Central Florida as well. Our attorneys fight for their clients and genuinely keep their best interest at heart.
If you have been injured in an accident, call the Brooks Law Group. We offer free consultations, ensuring that you have nothing to lose by contacting us. Call us now at 1-800-LAW-3030!