We live in an age of social media, one where everything we do can be catalogued for our friends and the general public to see and read about. This is mostly a fun and entertaining area, but did you realize it can have an impact on a personal injury case?
At the law offices of John D. Halepaska, our personal injury attorney services include walking you through possible threats to your claim, whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, via a dog bite or some other cause for which another party is liable. One such threat is social media used the wrong ways – let’s go over what we mean here.
Any Evidence Can Be Used
It’s important to know that in a personal injury case of any kind, any and all evidence can and will be used by your opponent to help chip away at your claim. This can absolutely include public social media posts, messages, status updates and even selfies taken and posted to Instagram. Don’t simply assume that just because your profile is private or only visible to your friends, others won’t be able to gain legal access.
In a personal injury case, you’re generally filing a claim asking for compensation for medical bills, plus any pain and suffering for your injuries. Let’s say you’ve filed a claim due to a car accident, one you’re claiming has caused you significant back pain and discomfort – if your public social media account also shows a video of you playing a high-intensity game of basketball, your opponent’s lawyers or insurance company can absolutely use this to prove to a judge that your claim is false.
Privacy and Entitlement
Simply put, many of us believe we’re entitled to more privacy than what social media truly allows. Just about anything you post or have posted in the past, especially anything you’ve shared publicly, is likely available to the defense against you. Assume that anything and everything on your social media account can be accessed.
Steps to Take
Luckily, we have some basic social media steps for you to follow if you’re filing or have filed a personal injury claim. First, convert all social accounts to private or at least narrow down who can see what you share. Next, examine the things you post far more carefully during this period, and do not post anything that might even hint at being able to hurt your claim. Third, ask your family and friends who are around you during this period to avoid posting about you while you’re waiting on your claim.
For more on how to avoid social media mistakes during a personal injury claim, or to speak to a personal injury lawyer, contact the offices of John D. Halepaska today.