Why Injury Victims Should Beware of Social Media
Millions of Americans find social media platforms to be beneficial resources for a host of reasons. They allow individuals to network, families to stay more easily connected and those who have specialized interests to interact with others who share them. Yet, there are also numerous risks associated with social media use that range from identity theft to misinformation.
There is an additional risk associated with social media use for those who are navigating insurance claims and lawsuits. Specifically, anything that an individual writes, posts a picture of or otherwise puts their name on can be used to undermine the strength of their case. This is true with criminal defendants, with spouses who are divorcing and with victims of physical harm caused by another’s negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous conduct.
What you say can be used against you
It is now common knowledge that insurance companies and lawyers alike commonly take advantage of Americans’ dependence on social media by using the information that they post against them. All too often, even seemingly mundane pictures, posts and interactions can be misinterpreted or purposefully twisted against people in their legal proceedings.
For example, if you post pictures of a night out with your family and you’re smiling, the defense in your personal injury case could point to the photos and try to use them to discredit your statements that you’re in “unrelenting” pain and unable to enjoy common life activities. You could look like you’re exaggerating your claim, even though you may have simply been hiding your pain and smiling so that your family wouldn’t know how terrible you felt.If you have recently been hurt and are seeking compensation via a personal injury lawsuit, take great care on social media until your case is resolved. If possible, stay off of it completely. The stakes of your situation are high enough that you don’t want to risk undermining the strength of your case simply because you wanted to post something.