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Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case

| Category: Personal Injury | March 29, 2024

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. From major life events to what we’re having for lunch, many of us share moments of our lives on a daily basis. We share vacation and wedding photos, trade memes, and promote our favorite local businesses. Unfortunately, active social media profiles can become highly problematic and be used against you if you ever have to pursue a personal injury case. If you have been injured in an accident and are considering pursuing a claim, a personal injury lawyer can provide specific answers to whatever questions you have. 

Social Media Can Create Factual Disputes

The success of your case will depend largely on the facts. Both sides will strive to establish certainty as to the facts in their favor. Even if you think your case is cut-and-dried, the other side is likely to disagree. 

Even though it’s “just” social media, an inaccurate or contradictory statement can create massive factual issues with your case. Even if you were being facetious or simply making a throw-away remark, the opposing party could take that comment out of context and use it against you. Even inconsistencies regarding minor details can cause significant problems. 

Comments from your connections are potentially even more problematic. Well-intentioned comments such as “You look great and so happy! So glad we went out dancing the other night” could do significant damage to your case. In addition, the friend who made that comment could wind up being used to testify against you. 

Your Injuries Will Be Scrutinized on Social Media

Even if you don’t post about the accident or your injuries, totally unrelated posts can be used as evidence that you are not as injured as you claim. For example: 

  • Even though the vacation was booked before your accident, your vacation pictures may be used to argue that you are claiming to be unable to work just so that you can take time off to go on trips. 
  • Before the accident, you hiked 10 miles in the mountains every couple of weekends per month. You posted a picture from a one-mile hike, which was painful and difficult due to your injuries. The opposing party may use that picture without context to suggest that you are able to go on strenuous hikes. 

While you could always add context to the picture, the best thing to do is refrain from posting until your case is resolved. 

Protect Yourself by Thinking Before You Post

There are many steps you can take to guard against any unintended adverse consequences. 

  1. Check your privacy settings. Make sure that your profile isn’t open to everyone. Otherwise, whatever you post can be used as evidence without a subpoena. Make sure that your profile is set to “private” on every platform you post on. It’s also important to keep in mind that “private” can mean different things on different platforms.
  2. Do not discuss your case on social media. It can be tempting to talk about your accident and the action you are taking, especially if you are feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Unfortunately, anything you say can cause significant problems down the road. Not only can this cause factual disputes, it can create devastating legal problems with your case. 
  3. Think about who you are sharing with. Even if your profile is set to private, most people are “friends” with people that they barely know. Are there people in your connections who would be able to share your posts or photos with their networks? Despite setting your profile to private, you can quickly lose control of whatever you post. 
  4. Think about what you post. Even innocuous content can be used against you. For example, photos from your vacation may be used to argue that you are not as injured as you claim. Videos of you laughing and having a good time may be used to show that you aren’t really suffering as a result of your injuries. Think about everything you post as being seen by the opposing party, their lawyer, or their insurance company. 

The best practice is really to not share anything on social media until your case is fully resolved. If you must post, however, you should be extremely careful. 

Injured? Contact Personal Injury Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles Today

At the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we help our clients navigate the challenges of everyday life, both big and small. If you have been injured in an accident, we can help you build a strong case for the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Call us today at 301-705-5006  or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.