Last updated on October 31st, 2023
Nowadays, we have become heavily reliant on social media to stay connected. We constantly scroll through our feeds, sharing our thoughts and experiences with the world. However, this addiction can pose significant challenges, mainly concerning personal injury cases. Social media has become a potential legal minefield in personal injury cases. Anything you post online can have serious consequences in court.
Our legal team at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz advises caution. If you’re not confident in managing your social media presence during your injury case, it might be best to temporarily step away from it until your case is resolved. Remember, what you share online can be used against you, so exercise prudence and discretion on social media platforms.
When it comes to personal injury claims, managing your social media presence can significantly impact the outcome of your case. It is in your best interest to follow best practices to protect your interests.
When facing a personal injury claim, the first and foremost step you should take regarding your social media profiles is to bolster your privacy settings. This involves adjusting your account settings to the highest level of privacy available on your platform.
By doing so, you limit the accessibility of your profile to a select group of individuals you trust, typically your friends and family. This restriction ensures that your personal information and posts are not readily visible to the potential adversaries in your legal case. It helps shield yourself from unwanted scrutiny and exposure.
During the pendency of your personal injury claim, you should refrain from posting anything related to your case. Don’t mention the following:
This is because every post, comment, or photo can potentially be used against you in court. Opposing parties may use your own words or images to challenge the legitimacy of your claim or question the severity of your injuries.
When dealing with a personal injury case, opportunistic individuals may try to connect with you to gain access to your private information. Be selective about who you allow into your social media circle, particularly if you don’t know the person making the request. Otherwise, you could expose information that could potentially be used against you in your legal case.
Do not delete your previous posts, comments, or messages on social media platforms. Deleting content can be interpreted as an attempt to conceal evidence, which could be used against you in court. According to ASIS International, deleting information from your social media account could be considered spoliation. Spoliation denotes intentionally destroying or altering evidence relevant to a legal case. To avoid this, you need to preserve your digital footprint to maintain your credibility.
Despite the risks associated with social media regarding personal injury cases, it can also be a valuable tool. It depends on how you use it and the unique case of your personal injury case.
Social media can be used to prove the validity of your personal injury claim. For example, your social media activity can provide a timeline of events and activities before, during, and after the accident that caused your injuries. This timeline is crucial in establishing the sequence of events and the impact of the accident on your life.
If, for instance, you were involved in a car accident and sustained a back injury, your social media posts could show you were active and healthy before. It may be photos while enjoying various physical activities such as hiking or playing sports. These posts can be used as evidence to demonstrate how the accident has negatively affected your life and physical well-being.
Personal injury claims rely on evidence to succeed or fail, depending on which side you belong. Mostly, the severity of injuries is a critical point of contention. Social media can help provide clear, visual evidence of your injuries, which can be highly persuasive in court.
For example, let’s say that you suffered a facial injury in a slip-and-fall accident. If you have posted photos or videos of yourself showing bruising, swelling, or stitches, these visuals can be presented as compelling evidence to prove your injuries.
Additionally, if you share posts about your visits to doctors, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers, these can further document the extent of your injuries and the steps you took to seek medical treatment.
Your social media activity can harm your ability to receive compensation. For instance, insurance companies are increasingly vigilant about monitoring claimants’ social media profiles. If they discover posts that could undermine your case, they will delay making a settlement offer until they thoroughly review your online presence.
For example, you’ve filed a personal injury claim due to a slip and fall accident, yet your recent social media posts show you participating in physically demanding activities. The insurance company may use these posts as evidence to challenge the credibility of your injury claim and prolong the negotiations. This will automatically delay any possible compensation.
Also, your social media accounts can show evidence that contradicts your testimony in a personal injury case. Activities portrayed on social media that directly conflict with your statements in court can be used by the opposing party to undermine your credibility and potentially reduce or eliminate your ability to receive compensation.
For instance, you claim that you can no longer leave your home due to your injury, but you plan to go out with your friends for an adventure. Then, your friends’ social media posts showcase you having a blast. After the fun adventure, you consult with your personal injury lawyer for your case update, only to be told that the opposing counsel has seen your photos of the fun-filled adventure, which created a substantial contradiction. This contradiction could lead to doubts about the legitimacy of your injuries, making it more difficult to secure the compensation you deserve.
Even if it is clear the other party caused the accident, which caused you injuries, having a lawyer is essential. They will help in a number of ways, including:
A personal injury lawyer brings a wealth of legal advice to your case. They are well-versed in social media and personal injury law matters and can provide clear guidance throughout the legal process. They will explain your rights, the best media account practices, and potential outcomes in a language you can understand. This ensures you make informed decisions about your case.
One of the primary roles of a personal injury lawyer is to investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury. They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, review medical records, and assess the impact of the injury on your life. This investigation can even involve looking at several media accounts to help build a strong case on your behalf.
Insurance companies will apply many tricks to avoid liability or lowball settlements. Your personal injury lawyer will handle discussions with insurance adjusters on your behalf. They work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Personal injury cases involve a substantial amount of paperwork and strict deadlines. Your lawyer will handle all the necessary paperwork, such as filing the lawsuit and submitting court documents. Your lawyer will follow the Ohio Revised Code §2305.10 (A) to file your personal injury claim. This meticulous attention to detail is critical to keeping your case on track.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your personal injury lawyer is prepared to take your case to court. They will represent your interests before a judge and jury to secure the compensation you deserve.
Determining the full extent of auto accident injuries can be complex, especially for pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer will calculate your compensation based on all recoverable damages applicable to your case. This ensures that you pursue the maximum compensation available to you.
Posting on your social media accounts could potentially harm the outcomes of your personal injury case. Therefore, it becomes vital to proactively contact a personal injury lawyer early to guide you through your case. At Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, we understand the impact that social media can have on your case. Our legal team of personal injury lawyers is ready to provide the support and legal advice you need. Don’t jeopardize your case inadvertently; you can count on us to cover your bases and maximize your recovery. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and appropriate guidance.
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