On Your Side After An Injury

How social media use could impact a personal injury lawsuit

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Personal Injury

Exciting and dramatic personal experiences tend to gain traction on social media. Most people enjoy the attention and affirmation that can come from a popular social media post. They also enjoy the simplicity of sharing information in one location and reaching their entire network of friends, family and coworkers. As a result, it could almost be instinctual for someone who suffered a major personal injury to share details about the incident on their favorite social media platform. They could post a picture of their vehicle after a crash or images of their injuries after a dog bite attack. They might share a video where they describe what happened.

Although it can be cathartic to have an instant influx of sympathy after a difficult experience, it can be very dangerous to share information about an injury on social media until after someone has resolved insurance matters and any personal injury lawsuit they intend to pursue in the wake of suffering harm.

What people share online can have unintended consequences

Most people do not understand how much of their online activity could be subject to outside scrutiny. People mistakenly believe that privacy settings can protect them from scenarios in which outside parties gain access to their social media content. However, anyone on someone’s friends list can take screenshots of private content and share that information with others. Additionally, the discovery process during a lawsuit might lead to the attorney for the defendant requesting access to someone’s social media records.

Anything that people share online can become evidence that affects their claim if they take the matter to court. Even insurance companies sometimes go over social media records to diminish their responsibility for a situation. And posts about the incident itself aren’t the only issue. Any other content shared online could also affect someone’s lawsuit. Posts where they seem happy could undermine claims that they now deal with debilitating pain. Post where they engage in risky behavior might provide an alternate explanation regarding the origins of their symptoms.

Those preparing for a major insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit often need to stop using social media until they entirely resolve the issues. They may even need to ask friends and family to avoid uploading photos that include them or tagging them in posts. Almost anything on social media could end up in the hands of an attorney or an insurance company and could potentially impact someone’s lawsuit or claim.

Understanding how social media can harm those hoping to seek compensation after a crash or similar incident may help people avoid mistakes on social media that could result in dire financial consequences.