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September 19, 2023

The Role of Social Media in Your Case

In today’s digital age, social media plays a significant role in many aspects of our lives, including legal proceedings such as personal injury claims, or any legal claim. We’ll review just a few ways that what you post online could potentially influence the outcome of your case. In short, do not post about your claim!

Insurance Companies Are Watching

Insurance adjusters often scour claimants’ social media profiles for evidence to minimize or deny claims. A seemingly innocent post can be taken out of context and used against you. For instance, a photo of you at a party might be used to argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, even if you were in pain and only smiling for the picture.

Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You

Comments or posts about the accident, your injuries, or your activities can be detrimental to your case. Even a casual remark about feeling better could be construed as proof that your injuries aren’t significant. Similarly, discussing aspects of your case, such as conversations with your attorney, can jeopardize attorney-client privilege.

Privacy Settings Don’t Necessarily Protect You

You might think having high privacy settings can protect you from the prying eyes of insurance adjusters, but this is not always the case. Courts may grant access to private social media content if it’s believed to be relevant to the case. The defendant will most likely get these posts during discovery.

Deleting Posts Can Be Problematic

It might be tempting to delete posts that could potentially harm your case, but this could be viewed as destroying evidence, which can carry severe penalties.

“Check-ins” and Location Data Can Be Revealing

“Checking in” at a particular location or activity can give an impression about your physical abilities that contradicts your claims. For instance, checking in at a hiking trail might be used as evidence that your mobility isn’t as compromised as you’ve claimed.

Timing of Posts Matter

It’s not just what you post, but when you post that can be important. If you’re claiming severe pain and suffering, but you’re actively engaging on social media, the defense may argue that your injuries aren’t as debilitating as you claim.

Your Connections Matter, Too

It’s not just your own posts that can impact your case. Posts, comments, or photos from friends and family members that feature or reference you can also be used as evidence. While it’s best to refrain from social media use while your personal injury claim is pending, if you must use it, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not discuss your accident, injuries, or case on social media.
  • Be mindful of what your photos and posts may imply about your physical and emotional health.
  • Tighten your privacy settings and be cautious about new friend requests.
  • Inform friends and family not to post about you or your case.

Many of these arguments by the insurance carrier and its attorneys may not be true. However, these are arguments that will be presented to a jury in an attempt to reduce the value of your case or to reduce any settlement. Remember, Pleban & Associates can guide you on best practices for social media use to avoid compromising your claim.

Concerned about your case?  Contact Pleban + Associates for a consultation.

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