Why Victims Should Avoid Social Media During an Injury Claim
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on July 22, 2022 in Personal Injury
Posting on Facebook, TikTok and other social media platforms provides many creative ways to update friends and family. However, there are times when social media could come back to bite you in a very unpleasant way. One prime example is when you are pursuing an injury claim after a car crash.
At PKSD, we understand that social media plays a big role in most of our lives today, both for fun and for business. However, regardless of which platform you post on, you do not have full control over who will see it. You also cannot predict how your post may be perceived, used or shared by others.
Our Milwaukee-based personal injury lawyers discuss how social media can severely damage an injury claim in the article below. Need legal help today? Contact our firm in Wisconsin to set up a zero-cost, risk-free initial consultation. It is a great way to get answers to your questions and find out if you have a case.
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How Does Social Media Affect an Injury Claim?
There are many ways posting on social media could negatively affect your injury claim. For instance:
One Picture or Social Media Post Could Ruin Your Claim
A picture may tell a thousand words, but in a legal claim, the story is usually taken out of context. One innocently posted image of you could easily be misinterpreted and used to discredit you.
An example of this might be if some friends come to visit you after you were injured in a crash and they take a picture. The image is only a harmless photo of you smiling with your friends, so what damage could it do?
Unfortunately, it gives the other side the opportunity to create doubt about you and the severity of your injuries. Essentially, since you “look fine” you must be fine. Even if you are still receiving medical treatments, the other side may say the photo shows how you are exaggerating your injuries to get more compensation.
In short, just one discovered image taken out of context could significantly damage your credibility. In an injury claim, credibility is everything. A mistake like this could cause your claim to be greatly reduced or even completely denied.
Social Media is Not Secure and Privacy Should Not Be Expected
When people hear that using social media is risky during an injury claim, they often say they have secured their accounts. Many social media users believe that by using the privacy settings provided on each platform their accounts are protected.
However, your accounts are not as secure as you think, and here are some reasons why:
- You may get tagged in an image or comment you did not post
- That harmless image you posted could get shared by others and discovered that way
- Your social media accounts could be subpoenaed by the defendant’s attorney
- Your account may be found in search results – even after removing yourself from public listings
- Friends or family members may forget to keep quiet about your accident and your injuries
- An investigator may pose as someone else and send you a friend request that you accept
These are just a few of the ways information can be found out about you on social media.
Can My Social Media Posts Be Used Against Me in an Injury Claim?
Absolutely. In fact, legal teams are already doing this and have been for years. Checking up on an injury victim this way is much cheaper than hiring someone to do surveillance. Attorneys may search not only your accounts, but also the accounts of your friends and family members, for evidence they can use. Once an attorney discovers and authenticates evidence that is relevant to your claim, it is admissible in a court of law.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to think about how many social media platforms may store data about you. There are many popular platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. However, what about apps or platforms you may not have thought about?
For instance, do you use Fitbit to stay in shape or record your exercise? This app provides an especially relevant source of potential evidence that could be used against injury victims.
How Your Social Media Posts Could Be Used Against You
There are many ways that you could give the other side an opportunity to use your social media posts to discredit you and devalue your claim. Some common examples of how social media may be used against you after a crash include:
- A comment you make about the crash could contradict a statement you made earlier
- An ill-chosen photo could make it seem your injuries are less severe than you say
- Images or videos could show you doing activities you claim you cannot do
- Friends and family may make statements about the amount of compensation you expect
- Check-ins may place you at activities you say you no longer do, even if you are only there to observe
These are just a few ways using social media could give insurers an opportunity to discredit you and your claim about the severity of your injuries. There are many examples of crash victims who ignored legal advice, continued to use social media, and lost their claim.
Should You Delete What You Already Posted on Social Media?
Sharing about your crash or your injuries could harm your claim for all the reasons mentioned. However, deleting a post after the fact is even worse.
As an injured victim in a crash who is seeking compensation, deleting your posts about the incident can do far more damage to your credibility. Deleting a post about your crash makes you look guilty of trying to hide something.
Insurers may argue that you were trying to hide pictures that show you are less injured than you say. They may even say it shows you feel, in some way, that you caused or contributed to the crash.
If you have already posted about your crash on social media, your best bet is to seek legal help right away. A qualified attorney is prepared to protect your interests and dispute false claims being made by the liable insurance company.
Key Things Not to Post on Social Media After an Accident
If you insist on using social media despite the known risks, here are several things you should never post about during an injury claim:
- Feeling guilty, apologizing or admitting any guilt about the car crash
- Any photos, posts or other evidence that could call the severity of your injuries into question
- Photos, videos, opinions or anything related to the crash scene or your injuries
- Confidential conversations with your attorney – once shared, they are no longer protected
- Angry, emotional rants that could be taken out of context and used against you
- Any comments about your case
Our Firm is Dedicated to Helping Injury Victims. Call Today.
There are many ways that insurance companies will try to discredit you, and social media offers a lot of potentially harmful evidence.
At PKSD, we are deeply committed to helping our clients recover the compensation they need. We keep you informed and help you avoid mistakes, like using social media, that can damage your claim.
Contact our firm today to set up your free case review. There is no obligation to file a claim or hire our services. However, if we do represent you, there is nothing for you to pay us up front. We receive no fees unless we win your case.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. 877-877-2228