In this day and age, social media has become the go-to for daily communications. Letter writing and telephone calls are gradually being replaced by email and an assortment of other social media vehicles. Many people rely on the convenience and ease of electronic communications, but fail to realize how detrimental they can be in certain circumstances. Large corporations spend thousands of dollars to create and protect what they allow to be visible via social media, always mindful of how their image will be interpreted on the internet. This should also be heeded by individuals who have been injured and are contemplating filing a personal injury claim.
It is important that you refrain from posting anything about your case on any social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, or LinkedIn, including your injuries, how you were injured, where the injuries occurred, who injured you, or any pictures of anything related to your personal injury claim. This includes via email as well.
If you pursue a personal injury claim and you post any comments or pictures regarding your case, you may be required to produce copies of such postings, and perhaps other information from your site. Any attempt to later remove anything you have posted regarding your case could be interpreted as an attempt to hide evidence.
Social media is also a research “go-to” for defense attorneys. They scour everything that you post, looking for evidence to contradict your claim. In one case, the plaintiff’s social media postings were used to contradict her claim of loss of enjoyment of life. The defense attorney found the photos plaintiff posted of her hiking in the mountains and another one of her being lifted into the air while dancing with her brother. Even though she was injured, the Judge ruled that the claimant was not entitled to compensation since the photos contradicted plaintiff’s claims.
What may seem like an innocent or even helpful picture in your eyes may be a photo that the defense will use to attempt to crush your case. For example, let’s say you were an avid runner prior to your personal injury, and as a result of your injuries, you were not able to run your routine five miles a day. It was not until a year and a half later that you gradually begin to increase your walking to a jog, and then a fast paced run. You post a picture of yourself in a race where you ran at a much slower pace. Your personal injury case, wherein you made a claim that you were unable to run like you did before, is still in litigation. The defense attorney discovers the social media photo of the race and uses it to attack your claim. Even though you know the sequence of events, the defense attorney will present the photograph to the jury in a different light. This situation can be avoided by refraining from posting anything and everything on social media regarding your injury.
Protecting yourself from social media being used against you is not always easy. If you have been injured, we are here to protect you and to help you. We will insist that you avoid any mention of your injury or the incident and more on social media. The experienced attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C., will help you through the recovery process while striving to protect you and your legal case.