Have you ever been told to be careful about what you post on social media and not to post that hilarious selfie or those vulgar tweets? While you may have received advice about your social media posts as it relates to employment concerns and family matters, it’s also highly relevant and applicable in relation to your personal injury claim and it bears repeating over and over again. Like you hear on the TV show Cops, anything you say can and will be used against you. That’s why its important to keep cognizant of preserving your personal injury claim at all times while using social media, because anything available will be used against you whether you are negotiating or litigating your claim.
If your case ever enters litigation, you should expect for the insurance defense attorney to send your personal injury attorney a discovery request for your social media accounts and all posts related to the event that caused your injuries. That is likely because the insurance company wants to look for any posts that could potentially undermine your claim or the severity of your injuries in the eyes of a jury. How do you think it would look for the defense if they saw your social media posts of you rock climbing, surfing or running a 5K, hours or days after you claimed that you sustained a serious back injury from a rear-end collision. The one simple post of you skydiving could potentially cost you thousands of dollars that you could have received in compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other compensable damages. It could also cost you your entire case if you’re in litigation in front of a jury. While many people believe they still have some expectation of privacy on the Internet, the hard truth is that you have almost no expectation of privacy in what you post on social media. The smack of reality is that just about anything you post, share, like, or send on social media, are most likely available to be used against you in your case. Insurance companies and their defense lawyers will use anything they can find to poke holes in your claim so they can weasel out of paying you. And just because you have all your privacy settings up, doesn’t mean that defense counsel can’t access your posts through a subpoena.
While the best tip you can follow is to get off social media or to not post anything related to the incident that caused your injuries and to refrain from posting anything that may undermine your injury claim, we suggest that you at a minimum activate the privacy settings on your social media accounts so that you at least narrow down the audience that can view your content. Next, examine very carefully, what you decide to post or share before you do so. Think, does the post you intend to make insinuate that you’re happy and healthy, despite your conflicting injury claim, which alleges you’re neither? Don’t post it. You should also ask your friends and family who use social media to not post anything related to the incident causing your injuries and your conditions. In fact, it’s best to ask them not to post about you at all or tag you in photos. While you may have developed a social media addiction with the easy accessibility to it on your cell phone, it can be well worth waiting for the resolution of your personal injury claim before engaging on social media again.
In addition to preserving your personal injury claim and your witness credibility on social media, we also strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney at the earliest stage possible after the incident resulting in your injuries. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or file a lawsuit and pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted, to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Biazzo & Panchenko Law today to schedule your free Personal Injury consultation today. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.