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How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case in Florida

Personal Injury

Between Meta and TikTok, social media has been a topic of much discussion in recent months. While most of the conversation revolves around ethical concerns and data privacy, it underscores just how ubiquitous social media has become. Social media has become a way to share mundane details of our daily lives as well as a way to connect with friends and family both near and far. As a result, people naturally share updates about their lives when going through a difficult time, such as recovering from an accident. An increasing number of people depend upon social media for their income. Accident victims should be aware, however, of how social media can impact their case should they need to pursue a claim. If you have been injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can explain what you should and shouldn’t do when posting online. 

Think Before You Post

The first thing to remember is that you give up control over whatever you post online. Giving some consideration to who might read or share what you post is the first step. Give some consideration to how what you are posting might be interpreted by someone who may not have your best interests at heart. We all have experience with posting things that are quickly misinterpreted or taken out of context. To save yourself a lot of grief down the road, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself before updating your social media: 

  1. Check your privacy settings. Anything that you post on your social media accounts could potentially be used against you in your case. As a result, make sure that your profile isn’t public and open to everyone. Otherwise, everything you post can be obtained by the opposing party without a subpoena. Set your social media profiles to “private, but keep in mind that “private” can mean different things on different platforms. Just make sure that what you post isn’t viewable by the general public. 
  2. Who are you sharing with? Even if your profile is set to private, remember that anything you post is potentially sharable. This may not be troubling by itself until you consider that many of your connections may be people you barely know. They could share your posts to their networks, essentially making your posts publicly available. The bottom line is that you can quickly lose control of whatever you post even when your profile is private. 
  3. Remember that everything you post can hurt you. Seemingly harmless updates can come back to haunt you. Vacation photos may be used to argue that your injuries are less severe than claimed. Videos from a family party may be used to show that you are not really suffering as a result of your injuries. Everything you post could be used against you by the opposing party, their lawyer, or their insurance company to undermine your claim.  

Social Media Can Create Contradictions

Successful personal injury claims typically depend on the facts. In order to prevail, you need to be able to create a clear and compelling version of events that demonstrates why the other side should be held accountable for the accident and your injuries. To avoid liability and paying your claim,  the other side will try to challenge your version of the facts. 

One of the easiest ways to challenge the facts of your case is to point out contradictions or inconsistencies. Social media posts that contain inaccurate or contradictory statements can create big problems with your case. Regardless of context or your intent, the opposing party could use your social media against you by arguing that your account is not trustworthy due to your inconsistent statements. Contradictions or inconsistencies regarding even minor details can cause significant issues with your case. 

You also should also be aware that comments from your connections can also cause problems. Well-intentioned comments about your health or your recovery could undermine the strength of your case. Even worse, the friend who made that comment could be subpoenaed by the other side to testify against you. 

Unrelated Posts Will Be Scrutinized

Social media invites scrutiny from the opposing party. Even if you don’t post about the accident or your injuries, totally unrelated posts can be used as evidence that you are not as injured as you claim. Posts from your daily life could be used to argue that you are not as injured as you claim or that you are already fully recovered. Whatever you post, you can be certain that the other side may look for ways to use it to undermine your case. 

Should You Use Social Media At All? 

When it comes to your personal injury case, the best thing to do may be to stay off of it until your case is fully resolved. There are risks even if your profile is set to private. If you must use social media, our advice is to be very careful and refrain from discussing anything related to your injuries or the accident itself.  

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today

Don’t panic if you have already posted about your case on social media – we can help you minimize any potential damage. If you have been injured in an accident, we know how to build the strongest case possible so that you can get the compensation you need to make a full recovery. To discuss your case and your options, call us today at 800-780-8607 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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