Updating your status on Facebook, posting photos on Instagram and Snapchat, Americans are spending approximately five hours a day on mobile devices, according to Flurry, an analytics firm. When Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan American think tank based in Washington, D.C., began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just five percent of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011, that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69 percent of the public uses some type of social media. The number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020, around a third of Earth’s entire population.
When it comes to personal injury cases, social media can have an impact. When investigating a claim, social media and the Internet is one of the first places that is researched. Is there an old photo of you recently posted which shows you downhill skiing when you are supposedly at home nursing a bad back? Your social media posts can be used to dispute the severity of your injuries. It’s important to keep in mind that the entire point of a personal injury lawsuit is to recover damages because your life has been negatively impacted by an injury caused by someone else. Don’t post photos that are contradictory.
Not just that, they can be used to invalidate your version of events. It gets even deeper than this. Social media sites you have visited and liked can be used against you and your personal injury case. If you have liked or followed specific sites or pages, this can indicate preexisting issues to insurance investigators. For instance, if you follow Alcoholic Anonymous and you have been involved in a car crash in which drinking was a factor, this can be a tipoff to those looking into your claim.
Another reality is that today online photos and posts are increasingly being used as evidence in court cases. The bottom line is if you have been injured in an accident and you are in the midst of a personal injury case, use caution when posting on social media. Posting anything online after your accident may be dangerous to your claim, even if you think that what you are posting is harmless or is in no way related to your injury.
Protect yourself and your privacy by not posting:
- Any information about your case or conversations you have had with attorneys
- Details of your medical diagnosis or treatment
- Information about when you returned to work or resumed regular activities
- Expressions of frustration related to the cases
- Details of phone calls, emails, or conversations you have had regarding the case
. Not only should you post with care during this time, but prohibit your friends and family from tagging you in photos, videos, or check-ins. Also, be cautious if you receive friend request during this time, especially from people you do not know. It is also advisable to change your social media settings from public to private. The fact is that once something is posted, it may remain on the Internet permanently, even after you have deleted it. In some cases, it may be best to stop using social media until your case has been resolved.
If you have been injured in an accident or as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, personal injury attorneys, for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.