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Social media and personal injury claims: Just *don't* do it

To say that social media plays a vital role in our lives would be a massive understatement. Just look around at your family, your friends and yourself. Unless you're unique, and some of you are, it's likely that you're checking your Facebook multiple times a day.

The problem is if you're an active social media user -- posting frequent updates and pictures -- it could have an adverse impact on your personal injury claim.

How could social media affect my personal injury case?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to misconstrue the text message of a friend? Perhaps he or she is excited and happy to write you, but for whatever reason, the text doesn't convey this. Suddenly you're questioning, "Is he mad at me?"

Social media is similar. We always try to smile and look happy in our photographs. This behavior can present a facade, a reality that just isn't true. We might be suffering from a broken leg and other painful injuries, but in every picture, we're smiling like the dickens.

An insurance defense attorney will have a field day with a social media account like this. The defense attorney might display picture after picture from your Facebook account to try and prove that you're not suffering -- neither physically nor emotionally -- from your injuries, which might be described as "severe" and "catastrophic" in your injury claims.

One wrong post can ruin your prospects for recovery

Imagine you try to mow the lawn, even though you have a sprained ankle. You go to work, and five minutes later, your ankle is so swollen -- and you're in so much pain -- that you give up and go inside. However, before you gave up, you took a selfie to show off to friends how you're finally getting some fresh air outside. The picture doesn't tell the whole story, but it could be used by the defense in a negative way against you.

Are you beginning to understand how risky social media is? All of the photographs and pictures on your Facebook page are potentially discoverable by the defense, and they can use them against you.

Play it safe: Don't use social media during your case

One way to play it safe and prevent the negative consequences of using social media is just not to use it. The wisest plaintiffs will educate themselves on civil law disputes and what kind of information is discoverable in their personal injury cases, so they can be as careful as possible not to shoot themselves in the foot regarding their claims. Wise plaintiffs may also choose to not enter their Facebook or social media accounts until after their personal injury claims have concluded.


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