Social media, like it or not, is a big part of our society these days. Millions of users spend hours a day on a seemingly endless list of social media platforms. We are often warned of some of the common risks associated with using social media, but did you realize that your social media activity can even have an impact on your personal injury case?
Now that you’ve been hurt in an accident and have a pending personal injury case, it’s important that you are aware of how to behave – and how not to behave – on social media throughout your pending civil lawsuit for a personal injury. A responsible and astute St. Louis personal injury lawyer will inform you on how your social media activity can affect your case. Burger Law lawyers are well aware of how a plaintiff’s social media presence can make or break a personal injury claim, and we’re here to help our clients do it right. For the best representation in St. Louis for your personal injury case, call 314-542-2222 or send us a message now.
How Can Social Media Impact Your Personal Injury Case?
It doesn’t look very good if you insist that the injuries you sustained in a car accident have left you permanently disabled and ruined your life while you are posting frequent photos of you going out with friends, doing activities that would require a reasonably able body.
It’s important that you aren’t exaggerating your injuries or the damages you’ve suffered as a result of an injury. But to win your personal injury settlement, we do have to give an accurate picture of how the accident has and will affect your life. While social media posts alone won’t win your case (you typically need to show other evidence, like medical treatment records), it can go along way in harming your claim if you’re not careful.
Insurance companies and defense attorneys will scrutinize your social media activity as a plaintiff bringing a personal injury case against their client. Even if you think you’re being careful and are always truthful, they can often find ways to use social media posts to:
- Contradict your testimony
The defense will use your statements on social media regarding the events of the accident to question and contradict the report you gave to the police or the testimony you give in court. If you make a post about the accident saying “thank goodness I looked up just in time,” they could use that to imply that you were texting or driving distracted and attempt to put the fault on you.
- Claim that you are more physically able than you claim to be
In a personal injury case, you should neither overstate nor understate the effect your injuries have had on you. However, it’s our job to be thorough in explaining how the accident has affected and continues to affect your life. There are often lasting damages such as PTSD or partial disability or loss of use of a body part. If you claim to have trouble walking but post images of you on a walk with your dog the next day, the defense will use that as an argument to claim that your injuries have not affected your life.
- Reveal contradictory witness statements
You never know – and can’t control – what other people will say or do on social media. As with the above example, if you don’t post anything, but your friend posts a bunch of pictures of you having fun and doing activities you claim you can’t do, that is going to be a challenge in your case.
- Mar your reputation by questioning your motivation for suing
A settlement in a personal injury case is meant to make you whole after the accident leaves you with hardship. So if you post on social media that you “can’t wait to sue those jerks so I can buy a new hot tub,” the defense will surely call into question whether you really need that money to recover and enjoy your life as normal. Once you settle your case, the money is yours to do with whatever you want, but unfortunately, this will still be used against you.
What you need to know regarding how social media impacts your personal injury case is that the insurance company and defense attorney will look for and use anything they can to question the legitimacy of your claim. If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you entirely deserve to be made whole with compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. But insurance companies work hard to try to avoid paying victims, and social media is one way your case can be negatively affected.
Listen to your lawyer for advice on what to do to help your case and how to avoid harming your chances of a satisfactory settlement. You should hire an accomplished St. Louis personal injury lawyer who will know what to do to avoid the negative effects of social media on your case. Burger Law has put together many free resources for personal injury claimants, such as this free book on what not to do in a car accident case.
St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer | Burger Law
Burger Law understands how social media can affect your personal injury case, and we know what to do to help you avoid negatively affecting your personal injury case. Contact us today to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer for free. Reach us by calling 314-542-2222 or sending us a message.