How Social Media Can Impact a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Car Accidents
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

For many of us, social media has become a part of the fabric of our daily lives. We share where we went on vacation, our workouts, and what we ate—details ranging from significant life events to the mundane. Unfortunately, anything you post on social media can be used against you in legal proceedings. This is true even if your profile is set to private. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, what you post on social media can damage your case irreparably. If you have questions about how social media can affect your claim, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable guidance.

Social Media Can Put Important Facts in Dispute

In a personal injury case, clear facts can spell the difference between a fair settlement and pursuing your case through trial. People make social media posts in order to engage with their followers. People rarely consider whether what they post is factually accurate, typically because they think it is “only social media” and their followers are their friends and acquaintances. In other words, they think what they post is unimportant and won’t be taken seriously beyond the basic message. This is not the case, especially when a lawyer for the other side is combing through everything you have posted on social media since you were injured.

Even seemingly innocuous posts about your accident can cause factual disputes. Replies to comments on your post can be similarly damaging. Even if you assign blame to the other party, your post can be problematic if it is at odds with your other statements. These factual disputes can make resolving your case short of trial difficult, if not impossible, for you. While many factors determine whether your claim will be resolved quickly, it is best to avoid creating time-consuming factual disputes by keeping your accident off social media.

Social Media Can Raise Questions as to the Extent of Your Injuries

One of the most common things people post about social media involves what they do for fun. We’re used to posting about our vacations, the hike we did last weekend, our morning workout, or our evening walk. While all of these things may seem harmless when we post about them, they can become problematic when a lawyer from the other side uses these posts against you. For example:

  • Photos from the cruise you booked prior to your accident can be used to argue against your claim of pain and suffering
  • A post about your dance class can be used to argue that you were fully mobile, even though you participated on a reduced basis and were unable to attend most of your classes
  • An upbeat post about your progress in healing can be taken out of context and used as an indication that you were further along in your recovery than you were

We all understand that what we post on social media is just a snapshot of a particular moment or a highlight that doesn’t include the difficulties we are experiencing. Unfortunately, this context is often ignored in the context of a personal injury claim. The best thing to do is take a break from social media until your case is resolved.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer at Goodwin Como Today

With a forward-thinking approach, a personal injury lawyer from our firm can guide you through the minefield of social media and whatever other challenges you may encounter in order to protect the value of your claim. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us today by calling 724-438-1616.