Do you use social media? Based on studies, the answer is probably yes. After all, in 2014, Pew Research Center published a report stating that almost three-quarters of Internet users were active on social media, a number that has surely increased since then. Social media is a useful tool for keeping up with your correspondences as well as networking with potential employers or dates, but social media can have a dark side, too. If you are involved in a personal injury claim, for example, your social media pages can actually have a negative impact on your ability to recover damages.
When you make an injury claim against another party, that party is going to do everything in its power to minimize the amount of damages it is liable for in causing your injuries. That means that the party’s attorneys will pore over every aspect of your life to try and disprove your claim in part or in full. This is where social media can hurt your case.
An example: Terry is involved in a bad car accident and is claiming chronic pain in his legs that are making him unable to work or to enjoy his favorite hobby, swimming. As his claim makes its way through the process, he receives an invite from a friend to spend the day at the beach. His friend posts photos on Facebook of Terry boogie boarding, surfing and otherwise enjoying himself in the waves. The friend tags Terry in the photos, and an attorney representing Terry’s opposition finds the photo online. Suddenly, Terry’s claim that his pain prevents him from enjoying the waves holds no water.
And it doesn’t have to be photos. Even a simple text post can hurt your claim. Suppose Terry is claiming emotional distress and depression as a result of experiencing the accident. If Terry is so depressed, then, why is his Tumblr full of posts about how much he is loving life these days?
Do yourself a favor if you are involved in an injury claim – stay away from social media.