Why Can’t I Use Social Media during a Personal Injury Case?
Social media is taboo when amidst a personal injury claim. While you might be tempted to share, there are critical reasons you should steer clear of status updates until your case is over.
You might turn to family, friends, and your social network for support during your accident recovery. After all, you are in pain, need assistance, and sometimes you just want a place to vent. However, social media is not the place to go, especially when you are in the middle of an injury claim.
You must avoid sending updates, photographs, or posting anything about your case on social media, and your attorney will likely tell you this from the day you meet. Even though you think a post or update here and there is innocent, it can lead to detrimental results in your settlement.
Here Is Why Social Media Negatively Impacts Your Case
Social media is supposed to be a safe place where you can go to stay in touch with friends and family. Naturally, after a serious auto accident, you would want to update them and let them know how you are. However, your attorney has his or her reasons for keeping you away. Some of those reasons may be:
Anything You Say on Social Media Can Be Used against You
Social media works against you. Anything you say on your social media posts, updates, and even tweets can be used against you, which means it can harm your chances for recovering the compensation you deserve. You may say something that makes the other side question facts about your case, or you could accidentally say something that affects how your character appears to a judge or jury.
Your Social Media Posts Might Contradict Your Testimony
In an injury case, everything you say is important. On social media, you might accidentally say something that contradicts your testimony or creates a conflicting testimony. For example, you say that you broke your arm, but then on social media you talk about how you were carrying your child around the park. The defense will read that statement and challenge your claims of a broken arm – because how would you have taken your child to the park with that broken arm?
You must be honest about your injuries, but also realize that what you say can be misconstrued and taken out of context, which makes it sound as though you have conflicting testimony.
Your Check-Ins on Facebook Can Be Used against You, Too
It is fun to tell friends and family where you are going via social media check-in tools. But when you do that, you might be telling the defense that you are not as injured as you claim. While innocent, say you go to a local yoga studio to watch a class (not participate in one). You check-in at the studio using Facebook.
Now the defense will call into question your injuries, because while you say you are too injured to go to work or function, you have just checked in at a yoga studio. Unless you can prove that you were watching the class and never participated, your check-in seems as though you were exaggerating or lying about your injuries.
Pictures Can be Used Against You
Say you went to a family reunion. While you were wincing in pain and you could barely participate in the family activities, there is a photo of you smiling on social media. The defense will say that you were active, participating in events, and you did not seem like you suffered serious injuries.
Realize that images can be used against you. You might be smiling through the pain just to keep your family happy, but when there is an image of you smiling as if you were happy and pain-free, the judge and jury might assume that the defense is right to say that you were faking your injuries.
Witness Statements on Social Media Can Hurt
If a family member or friend was a witness to your accident and posts on your profile, and if their information contradicts their statement, it can harm your case, too. Therefore, you should make sure any witnesses that have access to your social media refrain from using their profiles as well as commenting on yours just in case their words can be misconstrued to mean something else.
You May Breach a Confidentiality Agreement
Likewise, when the case is over, you cannot discuss it on social media. If you sign a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement, anything you say about that case on your social media profile can be considered a breach. Not only will you lose your settlement, but you may owe damages to the defendant for that breach of contract.
Is Social Media Even Admissible?
You might think that social media is a private platform; therefore, what you post cannot be used against you. However, the rules of evidence apply in injury claims, and the rules state that anything you say out of court that is considered a statement by you is admissible. When you post updates, you are making a statement publicly. By stating it publicly, you have no privacy rights.
Statements your family and friends post on social media are equally admissible, because they too are making public statements.
Are You the Victim of a Serious Accident? Speak with an Attorney Now
Having good representation is critical.
Your attorney will tell you guidelines for using social media and also how to protect your privacy on social media. An example would be changing privacy settings so that investigators working for the defense cannot try to access information on your profile.
After a serious accident, you should seek medical treatment right away. Then, schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with the attorneys at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A.
Our attorneys know how to protect our clients. We not only help you stay safe on social media while you wait for your case to resolve, but we work hard to ensure you get the compensation you need.
Schedule your appointment now by calling us or requesting more information online.