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How Social Media Can Negatively Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

bubbles with icons of social media platforms flying away from an iPhone

Why Social Media Should Be Avoided During a Claim

Social media has been a mainstay in many peoples' lives for nearly two decades. According to the Pew Research Center, over 70% of Americans are active on at least one social media platform as of 2021, and Facebook alone boasts over 2.9 billion monthly worldwide users. However, recent documentaries and reports have highlighted the dangers that can come with oversharing—and this extends to your insurance claims.

Many personal injury attorneys will caution their clients against using social media when going through the claims process because of the implications it may have in the courtroom. Whether it's simply acknowledging that you were involved in an injury-causing incident or documenting your recovery, different aspects have shown to potentially harm the return you could receive.

How Social Affects Your Claim

Anything you post on social media is considered public record, meaning that the opposing party can use your public posts against you in a claim as evidence. Even if it doesn't seem like what you say or share will carry any weight in the case, they may try to twist your words to make it seem like you are:

  • Admitting fault
  • Not as injured as you claim
  • Engaging in activities that contradict your statement
  • Sharing confidential information

By doing so, they can argue that you aren't being truthful, and the claim should be denied on those grounds.

However, it isn't just your posts and photos you should be concerned about. Since popular social media channels like Facebook allow friends to tag you in posts/photos or write on your wall, these can also be used against you when public. Even if they are saying light-hearted jokes about you being clumsy or a bad driver, these can be used to increase doubt.

What to Keep Offline

One of the most common ways people get into trouble with social media after an injury is by responding "I'm fine/okay" or "I'm doing well" when someone asks how they're feeling. Although these are common phrases that get used daily, it might appear like you are admitting to a lesser injury than claimed. Because of this, you should be extremely cautious with what you post, as well as how you communicate with friends and family during this time.

Even though social media is a major part of most people's lives, there is no harm in staying offline while your case is ongoing. In terms of your recovery, this may actually serve to benefit you in the long run. If choosing to stay offline, it may be worth talking to your friends or family about being careful with what they post as well, since this can affect you.

In general, you will want to avoid sharing anything that could be misconstrued as any of the above situations.

Should I Delete My Posts?

A common question that gets asked following advice against posting on social media is whether you should be deleting posts that could be potentially damaging. In some cases, this may also be harmful and viewed as evidence tampering. Before deleting profiles or individual posts, discuss the best course of action with your attorney.

Northern California Personal Injury Attorneys

Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley understands what it takes to help our clients have a successful personal injury claim. We are proud to serve Northern California and have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. If you were injured or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, we can help. Call (530) 413-0245 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.