The Impact Social Media Can Have on Your Personal Injury ClaimNew Jersey Legal News
From the very moment that an accident takes place, everyone starts talking. And what is one of the most popular places where many people talk to one another? Social media on the Internet. After an accident, many people will start replying to posts, saying things like, “Thank goodness everyone was okay,” just because they didn’t see EMS at the scene and instead see a variety of photographs of the accident after it took place. Sometimes, the individuals involved in an accident will also talk about their accident online, thinking that it will not have any impact on their lives.
Any experienced personal injury attorney will look at the various things that get posted every day and let their clients know that, from early on, many aspects can come back to bite those who are delving into their personal injury claims. Many attorneys also point out that staying away from social media is sometimes the best way to get the most out of your case. Why is this? Today, we will take a closer look at what the insurance company looks for after your accident and how the actions you engage in following your crash can impact you for quite some time.
The Realities of Social Media
Statistics show that social media use is on the rise. In fact, according to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, over 60% of adults use some type of social media. Many of the individuals who are on social media are on it so that they can keep in touch with loved ones by sharing photographs, catching up with friends, and sharing personal experiences. However, what happens when the experiences you have endured are best kept private? When you are suffering from a personal injury, it is sometimes a good idea to refrain from social media posting for a wide variety of reasons, especially if you are trying to compensate on behalf of your injuries.
A Closer Look at How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
From the moment that you have been injured in a serious accident, you start building your case so that you can move forward and receive the compensation you deserve for a wide variety of aspects. It is also second nature for you to reach out to friends and family, sometimes through social media, so that you can tell them what you have been through. Even if it’s as simple as posting a picture of your vehicle after the accident with, “Thank goodness I’m alive and okay,” can be something that the courts take into consideration when they are assessing your claim and helping you work toward results.
What happened at the scene of your accident cannot be changed. The proof of your injuries, however, is what will make or break your claim and is something that is worth protecting.
Let’s take a look at an example: let’s say that you have been injured in a car accident and, as a result, you receive a serious back injury and you claim that you have not been able to engage in the same activities that you once enjoyed. You tell your attorney and the courts that you have not been able to get around as easily and you have not been able to return to your job due to the fact that you are extremely limited in your mobility. However, the insurance company for the other party takes a closer look at your social media account, where they find you on vacation in photographs following your accident. In the photographs, you are clearly staying active and your back does not seem to be bothering you or affecting your mobility as you engage in activities. As such, the court is less likely to believe you and your claim might be dismissed all because of a choice you made to post on social media, thinking that it could never be used against you.
The most important thing in any case is how the judge or jury will view your claim and the mental anguish or pain that you have suffered. If you have been injured in an accident, you will have to be able to show that you have suffered injuries and mental anguish. If your claim is still fresh in its early stages and the judge or jury sees your social media posts from the start, this could impact how you are perceived by the courts throughout the rest of your case, leaving you with few options for recovery.
Evidence is sometimes twisted to make the plaintiff look as bad as possible so that the insurance company does not have to pay out as much as they were expecting. Though we try to keep our lives as private as possible, insurance companies will dig and dig for information, hoping that they will come across something that will prevent them from having to pay for your damages. Because of this, it is important to be as safe as possible on social media and sway away from posting about your accident.
Even the strongest privacy settings might not be enough, but it does not hurt to strengthen them in the long run. Unless your privacy settings are the absolute highest, many people can see what you tag others in, what you have been tagged in, and more. The activities that you are doing are usually completely visible to insurance adjusters, which can hurt in the end.
In the end, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself:
- Don’t post any photographs of the accident. You might be tempted to say something to friends and family, but social media is not the place for it.
- Ask others around you to remain silent about your injuries.
- Don’t post any updates about your condition or how your claim is going. Do not share information about conversations you have with your attorneys or information on your doctor’s visits.
- If articles are shared about your accident, do not engage in them.
- Don’t post anything on social media that you believe could harm your claim.
Contact an Attorney You Can Trust Today
At Brady, Brady & Reilly, our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped many clients receive the results they deserve after one of the most difficult times in their lives. Following a serious motor vehicle accident, you might want the support of your loved ones to help you through these difficult times. However, many people do not understand how devastating it can be to post about their accident on social media and have the insurance company build a case against them. Protect yourself from the start and speak with an attorney who can assist you. Contact us for more information today at (201) 997-0030.