Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. TikTok. SnapChat. Almost everyone now is on social media to varying degrees. People post about everything, from selfies to what they ate for dinner, pictures of friends and family, birthday celebrations, documenting special occasions, and politics to name a few. Social media has become part of our everyday life and most people are on some form of social media at least once a day, even if it is just to browse and not post. It has become a way to share and document your life in a way that has never before been seen.
So what happens if you are injured in a car wreck, get hurt on the job, or slip and fall and are injured, and need to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit to recover for your injuries? Can and will social media affect your case? The answer is YES.
From the moment you make a claim against an insurance company for personal injuries, the insurance adjusters are already trying to find any and all social media accounts you may have, and review them for posts that may hurt your claim. They will use anything and everything they can against you, in order to diminish your injuries and pay as little as they can towards a settlement. Any photos you have posted or comments about the incident itself will be downloaded and added to your claims file.
If you end up having to file a lawsuit, once again, anything and everything you have ever posted in the past is fair game for the insurance company and their defense attorney to dig up and use against you. During the discovery process of litigation, defense attorneys have now begun to request names of all your social media accounts, and request that you produce any and all posts you may have made discussing your injuries or the circumstances that led you to be injured. An example of how a social media post can hurt your case can be as simple as you being involved in a car wreck and claiming you can no longer participate in hobbies like you used to due to pain. If there is a picture of you doing anything that you are claiming you can no longer do after the wreck happened, that will be used against you to hurt your credibility and it will diminish your case value. Social media posts will be used against you during your deposition, and in most cases will be admissible at trial.
In order to prevent the insurance companies and their defense attorneys from using your social media accounts against you, the best practice is to keep your social media accounts private. In addition, it is a good idea to Google yourself to see what photos or posts you may have been tagged in by friends or family that may be public. More often than not, others may have posted pictures of you that are public. Reach out to those friends and ask them to untag you or make the posts and pictures private.
If you are involved in a car crash, have been injured on the job, or are involved in any type of personal injury claim, do not post anything about your accident or injuries. However, anything that has been posted after the accident occurs, should not be deleted. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate through this process, and to help guide you regarding the best practices to ensure you are not hurting your case through social media.
Please remember that The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is here for you and is committed to assisting you with your case. All of our five offices are open and staffed. We are able to handle cases remotely during this time. We have offices in Charlotte, Hickory, and Greenville, North Carolina, and in Rock Hill and Columbia in South Carolina. Please give us a call so that we can fight for your rights.