A lot of people spend hours a day consuming social media. Whether we’re scrolling through our Facebook feeds, catching up on the latest news on Twitter or checking out some new photos on Instagram, it’s easy to connect with others or blow off some steam on these social platforms. With that said, if you have a pending personal injury or workers’ compensation lawsuit, it’s in your best interest to limit how you use social media for the time being, because failing to do so could end up jeopardizing your injury claim. Below, we explain the pitfalls of social media when it comes to your injury claim.
The Dangers Of Social Media During Your Injury Case
Even though it is “your” social media profile, know that anything that you share on these sites is considered public information. Regardless of whether you have your account or your feed marked private, any information you share on these sites can be used against you during your injury case. And while it’s possible that nobody from the other side will be able to view the information you share, don’t put it past a jealous co-worker or acquaintance to forward that information to the other side. We’ve even seen instances where private investigators create dummy profiles in order to view a person’s social media profiles, and then they collect the evidence they need to make a case against them.
But what information could be used against you during your injury case? While there are a number of different aspects that could hurt your case, the most common involves your physical capabilities in the wake of an injury. For example, let’s say you injured your back in a workplace accident or as a result of getting rear-ended by someone at a traffic light. You then went to a doctor for an evaluation and are pursuing an injury award through the proper channels. During your case, you are tagged in a photo waterskiing on the lake, or riding a bicycle around town. The other side may argue that your injuries are not as significant or debilitating as you claim they are, and this can severely limit your ability to collect an injury award.
You may be thinking that as long as you don’t post any photos during this time, you’re in the clear. But it’s not just photos that can work against your injury claim, it’s also your words. It may seem odd, but sharing a social media update as innocuous as “The garden is planted!” can suggest that you’re undertaking more physical activity than recommended by your physician given your injuries. We’ve seen statements like this be used against individuals in court, so even seemingly innocent statements can be twisted against you if you’re not careful, which is why we recommend “going dark” on social media as your case plays out.
It’s also worth noting that messages sent on these sites or in text message form can be used against you during your case. If friends, family or coworkers are asking for updates, assume that anything you share with them can be viewed by the other side, so don’t share anything that could work against you. Better yet, just say that you can’t talk about the details until everything is complete, that way you know you won’t be jeopardizing your case.
This should go without saying, but we’ll touch on it just in case. This sentiment also should apply to your spouse, your kids and anyone in your family in regards to your injury case. Your spouse shouldn’t be talking about your case on Facebook, and your kids shouldn’t be tweeting how their Dad is going to get $50,000 in an injury lawsuit. It might not end up hurting your case, but you have nothing to gain and everything to lose when these things get shared, so talk to your family about staying quiet in regards to the case on social media. If you need to get something off your chest, talk to your lawyer, because they have your best interests in mind.
Instead of talking about your case on social media, why don’t you swing on over to our social profiles and connect with our firm! We can help you get the biggest award possible and prevent any potential issues with your case. Swing on over to the Hey Workers Facebook page or better yet, give us a call today at (844) 439-9675.