Social media can be a great way to share your experiences and communicate with others. However, revealing too much information online can have negative effects, especially if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
As the presence and influence of social media continues to grow, courts have begun to allow social media posts to be presented as evidence in lawsuits. This means anything you post on social media can be used against you in your personal injury case.
Because of the potential threat that social media poses, the risk of undermining your case is so severe that it is often recommended you disengage from all forms of social media accounts if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
How Can Social Media be Used in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you file a personal injury claim, you are seeking compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company for the financial losses and pain and suffering you have endured.
However, insurance companies are only interested in providing claimants with the least amount of money possible for their claims. This means an insurer will use any tactic available to refute or undermine a personal injury claim, including searching the victim’s social media accounts.
An insurance company will look through your social media profiles to find any comments, posts or pictures you have posted that can be used to contradict the damages you claim to have suffered.
For example, you may file a claim after being injured in a Fort Worth car accident and allege that you suffer chronic back pain and loss of enjoyment in life.
However, an insurance company may come across pictures of you engaging in activities that would not be possible if you were suffering from the damages listed in your claim.
Furthermore, it could find posts of you stating that you have come to terms with your injury, which contradicts your claim that it caused you to lose enjoyment in life. This may cause the insurer to conclude that you did not suffer a back injury and deny your claim.
How Can an Insurer Find a Claimant’s Social Media Information?
Often, social media platforms are easily accessible to anyone with an account to the site. If your account is set to public viewing, an insurance company does not need to ask you for permission to look at your profile. Instead, it can search for you on any social media sites you are using and look through any posts you have made.
However, even if your social media accounts are set to private, an insurer can still gain access if it needs to. The attorneys representing the insurance company may ask a court to access your social media accounts or request that you allow them to view your profile.
Once an insurer has access to your account, all of your information will be available and any posts that may seem to contradict your claim could be revealed.
What Should I Not Post on Social Media?
Because social media can easily be used against you, it is often in your best interest to simply shut down your social media accounts while your personal injury case is pending. However, carrying out this recommendation can be difficult for some people. If you are unable to shut down your accounts, you should keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not post information about your injury or treatment
- Avoid posting frustrations about dealing with the other party or an insurance company
- Never post about conversations you may have with your attorney
- Do not post about emails, phone calls or conversations you have with anyone involved in your case
Other limitations on social media use will be more specific to your case for which your attorney can advise. However, if you are unsure about whether or not you should post something to your social media profile, it is probably in your best interest not to.
Need Help? Call Us Today
If an insurance company has requested access to your social media account, you should immediately contact an attorney.
At Anderson & Cummings, our team of personal injury attorneys can advise you of how to interact with an insurance company during the course of your claim, including what information you should and should not share on social media based on your case.
We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and discuss how you should conduct yourself during this time. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay anything unless we help you recover compensation for your claim.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule a free legal consultation.