Ways Social Media Can Hurt Personal Injury Claims
In today’s society, it’s second nature to share your life with family and friends using social media. Nonetheless, social media users who have a pending personal injury claim have to refrain from sharing any details regarding their claim and exercise extreme caution in general. Sharing your profile information, comments, posts, pictures, and videos on social media can undermine your claim by giving opposing counsel information that they can, and will, use against you.
How Social Media Can Damage Your Claim
Although social media can foster many positive changes, it can hurt your chances of success when you’re bringing a personal injury claim. If you say something on social media that hurts your claim, it will damage your chances of recovery, even to the extent of a dismissal of your claim. Anything you say or show has the potential to call the facts of your claim into doubt or even just make you look bad in front of a jury.
Your Social Media Posts May Be Subject to Discovery Requests
Remember that during the “discovery” phase of your claim (in other words, the fact-gathering phase), defendants have the legal right to seek as much information as they can about you, including information that is not public record. Even if you’re using privacy settings, an opposing lawyer can request (or actually demand) that you produce your social media activity.
You May Contradict Your Own Testimony
By using social media, you potentially may say something that contradicts what you’re claiming in the case. For example, if you’re claiming that you have suffered a broken leg but post pictures and information about your recent skiing trip, the defense will challenge your injuries and likely prevail. Successful personal injury claims require complete honesty regarding your injuries and losses. Contradictory social media posts can destroy your claim.
Behavioral tendencies such as consuming alcohol, recreational drugs, or any high-risk activity might create a less-than-sympathetic image of you for the jury and increase the chances that you’ll be seen as at least partially responsible for the accident.
Breach of Confidentiality
Most settlement agreements contain a confidentiality clause that prohibits releasing any details of the agreement. If you post any details of your settlement or even announce that you have reached a settlement, you may be in breach of the settlement agreement and suffer the consequences laid out in the agreement.
Let an Allentown Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Avoid Social Media Mistakes
If you have a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania, contact an Allentown personal injury lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for your free consultation before posting anything on social media. We’ll help you understand what you can or can’t post on any type of social media and why.