In America, 69% of adults use social media and maintain 7.1 different accounts. The ability to communicate openly to friends, family, and strangers all at once has brought people together.
However, that openness can affect your personal injury case. Even the most innocent post can change how your case is treated in court.
Your claim shouldn’t become tainted by comments or pictures taken out of context. Ensure it remains fair by understanding how social media affects your case.
Defense attorneys may use social media to discredit your case. Posting updates on your progress following the injury can be used by the defense to minimize its severity. If you accidentally misquote what your doctor said, defense attorneys might claim your story is no longer consistent.
Pictures posted on social media can also be used against you. If there are post-injury pictures of you moving about normally or traveling, it can refute your pain and suffering claim.
Many people experience emotional distress following their injury. However, pictures of you having fun with your friends can be used as evidence that you’re doing well.
Injuries can be frustrating, and it’s normal to vent to friends and family. However, many choose to vent publicly on social media. The defense can use any negative comments you make about the defendant against you. They can argue that your claim was filed for revenge or a desire for money.
After you’ve filed a personal injury claim, switch all your social media profiles to private. Don’t accept a friend or follow request from someone you don’t personally know. Ask your loved ones not to tag you in any pictures or videos. This prevents investigators from having easy access to everything in your history.
Even with your accounts on private, you shouldn’t post about your case. Neither should your friends or family.
While they mean well and want to support you, their comments can affect how a jury sees you. They shouldn’t make comments about your health, the progress of the case, or the defendant.
If you receive a settlement from the case, neither you nor your loved ones should comment about it. Depending on the terms of the settlement, public remarks could breach the agreement.
Finally, think about every post you make. If you realize a post was a mistake, deleting it may not be a solution. Digital communications—social media posts, emails, and text messages—are all recoverable. Attorneys can subpoena them even after they’re deleted.
Sometimes, the best social media strategy is to remain silent.
Social media has changed the way personal injury cases are tried. At Salerno & Leavitt, we have changed with the times while still applying our decades of experience. We’re dedicated to providing the exceptional and compassionate representation that our clients need. For a case review, call us.