Social Media and Personal Injury Cases
Social media has become an extremely prevalent part of our lives. Almost 70% of all adults in the United States are using some kind of social media, and 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day. A little more than 20% of the world’s total population uses Facebook. It’s no surprise this well-established and new part of our routine—checking posts, reading updates, posting photos—has unforeseen consequences.
In various cases around the United States, attorneys have begun to use social media posts and updates in court as evidence. From divorce cases to child custody disputes, to personal injury claims, those who need to defend their standing in court will use whatever is at their disposal to prove a point.
Personal injury cases, in particular, might involve court disputes with large insurance companies, who rarely enjoy paying claims for anything. Most of their income derives primarily from premiums that they collect from policyholders. When a policyholder then has a claim, they investigate it as much as possible to avoid paying for something they don’t have to.
While these companies are held to do right by their claimants by good faith laws, they will use any loophole possible to deny a claim, including using your own words against you. For example, if someone makes a claim after a car accident and states they have reduced mobility and chronic pain, an attorney might check that person’s social media account and find pictures of him or her hiking recently. In another example, let’s say you’re suing a drunk driver for medical costs and for pain and suffering. The driver’s attorney, or his insurance company’s attorney, could look at a recent picture of you smiling to prove you’re not experiencing pain and suffering. While you might be experiencing pain, you’re unlikely to document it on social media, especially since accounts are usually tailored to give the best possible account of our lives.
Your best course of action is to stay off social media altogether until your case is over. Likewise, if close friends and family also use social media, request they refrain from posting pictures of you or making mentions of your injury or recovery on their social media accounts. Alternatively, you could ask them to set their accounts to private.
Make sure to do yourself a favor and stay away from social media. It might also help your case to contact an excellent Kansas City personal injury attorney to help in your case. A good lawyer could help you file your claim, inform you of any impending statute of limitations, and help you file an appeal if your initial application was denied. If you’ve sustained a life-changing injury because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. DiPasquale Moore will help you through your legal difficulties while you focus on your recovery. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at (888) 743-1030.