There are various types of personal injury cases that you could be involved in from car accidents to muggings to workers’ comp claims. Personal injury claims are basically anything that happened whether intentional or by accident that caused you bodily harm. Personal injury law refers to any legal results or defenses that are involved in a civil case brought because of wrongful conduct by one party. Typically, all types of personal injury cases are civil cases meaning that the accused party will not have to pay any personal consequences involving fines or jail time. Car accidents, medical malpractice, workers’ comp cases and other types of personal injury cases that occurred because of negligence or someone not paying attention will usually end with a settlement being granted to you from their insurance. Many times car accidents and other types of personal injury cases will happen because someone is looking at their phone and not at the road or where they are supposed to be looking. Texting, emailing and social media have significantly upped the personal injury rate. However, once the accident, the social media problems aren’t over. Did you know that social media can still affect your personal injury case? Here are some ways that you could ruin your own case.
Discussing the Accident
You may be one of those people that give running updates of your life on Snapchat and Facebook and other social media outlets. It can be a release to talk about what is going on in your life at that moment and have people weight in. It’s a very common way to use social media. However, if you are giving out information about your case online, this can severely and negatively affect your chances of winning. This is because your posts can be subpoenaed by the defense counsel. How you word things online and anything you say could end up being used against you and you are giving the defense evidence against you. If you must post about your case, clear every word with your lawyer. However, your best option is to just not discuss the case online at all.
Bad Mouthing the Accused Party
Understandably when you go through something that harms yourself or a loved one, you will be frustrated and angry and social media is usually a great place to vent your feelings or lash out. however, if you are engaging in legal proceedings, this needs to be avoided. If those posts are found, which they likely will be as social media is the first place lawyers look, they could come after you for defamation against the defense and you will lose your personal injury case entirely. Again, the best way to avoid this is to keep your case offline as much as possible.
Here are some other things to avoid regarding social media:
You may feel that posting pictures of your day to day life outside of the case may be harmless but the defense may find a way to use it against you. For example, if you are claiming bodily injuries and then post pictures of a hike or a sport that you played, this can create serious doubt about your injuries. Even if you are only engaging in these activities as a way to promote healing and strength in your body because of the accident, the defense can still twist it. Pictures of eating out and events with friends can cause reasonable doubt on how the accident has actually affected your quality of life.
Accepting New Friends
Many times, insurance companies or other parties related to the defense will send a friend request under a fake profile in order to gain access to private photos and other information about you. Do not accept any new friend requests during the course of the claim unless you know the person sending it. This will ensure that no one is gaining access to your information in order to use it against you. Keep in mind however, that just because your profile is private, doesn’t mean that no one can see. People have ways of getting around that kind of thing.