For many of us, posting on social media sites is a part of daily life. We overload on personal information that often seems completely innocent to share. In general, there’s nothing wrong with sharing your life with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, or other online sharing websites. However, when you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, social media activity can hurt your chances of a successful claim.
Find out what experienced accident attorney Lisa Levine advises when it comes to social media and personal injury claims in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, and Florida.
How Social Media Can Be Used Against You In A Personal Injury Claim
When you are injured in an accident and looking for compensation from the negligent party, it’s the job of the other party’s attorney to disprove your claim. To do this, they might use your social media accounts against you.
Here is an example of how this could happen in an auto accident case in Broward County:
Another driver runs a red light and hits your car. The accident causes severe, chronic back pain. You file a claim against the other driver and his insurance company for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost time at work, and pain and suffering.
The other driver’s insurance company has a team of lawyers ready to fight such claims so that the insurance company doesn’t have to pay. To disprove your injury claim, they careful review your social media accounts. On Facebook, they find a picture you posted of yourself hiking with friends a few weeks after the accident. The insurance company’s lawyers may use the post as evidence that you did not, in fact, suffer a serious back injury.
Several of our clients have seen the impact social media can have in their case. In one case, a client said that cosmestic damages sustained in an accident significantly reduced her ability to meet others. Using her social media accounts, the defense attorney was able to show that, if anything, the client was more active socially than before.
On a wrongful death case, the widow was making a claim for damages for the loss of a spouse and the very long-term loving relationship they had. Using social media documentation, the defense attorney could have made a case that the marriage was not as wonderful as the client made it out to be.
Is Social Media Activity Private?
This is a common misconception. Even with the strictest privacy settings, your social media activity may not be completely inaccessible to outside parties such as the insurance company or its attorneys. Even if you your own profile and activity is restricted, friends may post about you, tag you, share photos of you, etc. on their own pages. If they’re privacy settings are not as strict, that activity is easier to find.
Defense attorneys will search any online profiles you have, including social media accounts and even dating sites. Commonly used sites include:
- Tik Tok
Outside the web, text messages may also be used in a personal injury case. The telephone company keeps these written communications. They are harder to get, but still accessible for the defense. The best advice is remain cautious of anything you put out in electronic form. This includes everything from social media to text to emails.
Protecting Your Social Media and Personal Injury Claims in Fort Lauderdale
There are several precautions you can take to minimize the risk of social media activity hurting your injury claim. Accident victims should:
- Never lie or exaggerate about the injuries they sustained in the accident.
- Never discuss your accident, your injuries, your recovery or your lawsuit on social media sites. Do not upload any new photos or video and do not comment or respond to others’ comments about the accident.
- Set your social media accounts to the highest privacy restrictions and do not accept any requests from new people.
- Ask friends and family not to post anything about you (updates, photos, videos, etc.) on their social media accounts.
Get Help With Accident Claims in Broward County, Florida
If you were injured in an accident in Broward County, contact an experience Florida personal injury lawyer. For more than 35 years, Lisa Levine has helped accident victims in Weston, Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida. She aggressively fights to help her clients obtain much-needed personal injury compensation. Contact her today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.