Social Media: How It Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

Social media, or the use of computer-mediated technologies to facilitate the creation and sharing of information, career interests, ideas, and other forms of expression, is a relatively recent trend. What’s more, its prevalence has increased as a result of easy access to Internet services by smartphones. People love sharing their day-to-day and extraordinary experiences with their friends, relatives, and even complete strangers. It gives people a sense of community with their neighbors and a larger, global network of individuals. However, its very novelty can present a problem.

As new trends and technology emerge, people adapt to how they affect life in general. While posting to Facebook and Twitter can be socially fulfilling, social media posts are being used increasingly in legal cases. For example, divorce attorneys can use the social media presence of the opposition to make a spouse look better or worse in a child custody or alimony proceeding. Similarly, in personal injury cases, insurance companies who do everything in their power to avoid paying as much as possible use people’s social media sites to disprove their injury claims.

For example, let’s say a woman breaks her leg in a severe car accident. She files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company because she needed to visit the emergency room, have her broken leg treated, and needs several physical therapy sessions once her leg heals. Additionally, she’s an athlete, meaning she can no longer work. Therefore, her claim includes recompense for her lost wages. The insurance company disputes her claim and, in front of a judge, presents the court with a social media status she posted a few days ago, where she’s smiling and laughing with her friends. The insurance company asserts her injury isn’t as severe as she claims because she’s not actively suffering from her broken leg.

It’s an extreme example, but there have been similar cases before. If a personal injury case involves seeking compensation for pain and suffering or for loss of enjoyment of life, the attorneys representing an insurance company will carefully comb the claimant’s social media pages for any evidence showing any ounce of happiness.

The problem with this tactic is that most people’s posts to social media site are carefully tailored snippets of life. They usually aren’t gritty, real life depictions of how an individual is feeling at the moment. If someone is feeling isolated and alone, they aren’t going to show a photo of themselves on Facebook. Likewise, deep depression is unlikely to be captured by a status update or a Snapchat video. A person who is so severely injured they can no longer hike like they used to isn’t going to post a photograph of himself or herself staying at home. People usually try to present their best selves online, the best versions of their lives.

If you were recently injured and you plan on filing a personal injury claim, do yourself and your case a favor and stay off of social media. You don’t want an insurance company to take a status update out of context or use a photograph as a piece of evidence against you. Make sure you also contact an experienced Katy personal injury attorney who can talk you through the claim, negotiation, or litigation process.

Our firm has more than 35 years of legal experience seeking justice for people who were harmed through careless mistakes or negligence. Adams Law Firm wants to ensure you are able to pay for your medical bills, future medical bills, and rehabilitation. If your injury causes you to miss work, we also don’t want your quality of life to suffer as a result. When you contact us, we will go over the facts of the case as well as answer any questions about the process that you might have. Contact our compassionate legal team today.

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