How Social Media Posts Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case
Posted on Nov 23, 2018 in Personal Injury
If you use the internet, which you likely do, you likely also post pictures and comments on social media. Those posts can reflect your state of mind, your mood, where you’ve been, who you were with, and what you were doing. Imagine that a driver and their insurance company were being sued by someone who claims that they were seriously hurt in a car accident; that they were in constant pain, that they could barely move, and that they were generally miserable because of their horrible injuries. Wouldn’t you hunt for whatever evidence you could find to undermine those claims, especially if all it took were a few mouse clicks?
Back in the day, insurance companies and defense lawyers would hire private investigators who would spend hours and days staking out or following around personal injury plaintiffs to try to catch them doing things that clearly contradicted their claims. For example, if a car accident victim claiming severe back injuries and an inability to work was seen helping their friend move a heavy couch a few weeks after the accident, a picture of that would be worth way more than any words she could say on the witness stand.
Now, all of those long hours spent trying to get such evidence can take just a matter of seconds. Because now, that injury victim’s friend was kind enough to post a picture of them moving that couch on Instagram.
Now, you are seeking damages for your pain and suffering or lost wages from being unable to do your job. But because you’re in the habit of posting your life on social media, you posted pictures on Instagram of you dancing at a club a few days after the accident or your friend tweets about how drunk you were that night you got in the crash. At that point, you’ll soon be able to post about how you just lost your personal injury case.
Your “Privacy” Settings Won’t Save You
Many injury victims believe that they don’t have to worry about their social media posts because only their “friends” can see their posts. The fact is, “privacy” settings won’t keep your posts private, nor will they protect you from being tagged or seen in pictures and posts made by others.
An increasing number of courts in Louisiana and elsewhere have held that defendants in personal injury and other kinds of cases can request access to social media posts, photos, and information even if the plaintiff has a “private” page.
Furthermore, it is not unusual for an insurance company investigator to make a “stealth” friend request on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere to get an injured plaintiff to give them access to content behind a privacy wall.
Our advice to injury victims generally and our clients in particular is to avoid making any posts on social media altogether. If you’ve been hurt in an accident and are seeking compensation for your injuries but just can’t quit social media entirely, at least refrain from posting anything about your injuries or your accident or anything that could appear to contradict any of the claims you are making. Otherwise, you are running the risk that the insurance company and lawyers who are trying to defeat your claim will really “like” your post.
Call Bloom Legal Today for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case
With fierce advocacy and unwavering dedication, the New Orleans personal injury lawyers at Bloom Legal will fight to get you what you deserve when you have been injured because of another’s negligence or reckless conduct. Contact us today at 504-599-9997 or through our contact form to arrange for your free consultation to discuss the details of your claim.