We have all been there and done that, we post away on social media, proclaiming our status, where we are, what we think, and even what we had for dinner. However, for the personal injury client, posting on social media, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, You Tube or other social media is dangerous for your case. Why? When we post something on a social media site, it becomes almost like a diary of our day to day life. An insurance company who is fighting against you in your case would love nothing more than to get their hands on a diary of your life after your injury. Many courts would rule that writings put forth by the injured person after their injury would be admissible in court. Also, we all tend to want to paint a positive light on our posts, so a post after a serious car wreck might read something like this, “I was in a bad wreck, and it was the other person’s fault, and I have a broken arm, but I am doing well, without much pain right now, and so thankful for all the excellent care from my doctors. I am going to be 100%- I just know it.”
Problems with a post of this type are that the person may be using pain medicine, so at the moment of the posting, he or she is not in much pain, but the next day you are wracked with pain. You can bet a good defense attorney worth his salt will jump all over this posting, and you will have to spend a lot of time trying to remember why you posted that, whether you were taking pain medicine, what you meant, and explaining the details of that post. Also, a projection in to the future that you will be just fine is also going to be something the defense will use. A good defense attorney will say, “early on in the case, you said you would be 100%, why are you not 100% now (later in the case), are you faking, malingering, purposely not getting well?” You again will be left to explain details if you do not recover 100%.
Most insurance companies have full time social media experts who are searching the internet for information to gather about you once you report an injury claim, either yourself or through an attorney. You should make all your settings private, and not become friends with anyone you do not know.
A recent case went to trial and the attorney for the injured person said his client was on the stand for HOURS attempting to explain each post, of which there were hundreds. The jury got very tired listening to the client explain each post, and this took a lot away from the trial, but the defense attorneys laboriously went through each and every post.
Another example of a problem post for the personal injury client is something like, “my husband and went out in the boat, stayed out all day, had a great time.” The issue becomes how bad the person is injured if they are able to ride in a boat and endure at least some waves, which can be very jarring to the body. There are also the physical requirements of getting in and out of the boat, cleaning the boat when you are done, and other physical labor that goes with loading a boat.
So, the best advice if you have been injured is to NOT POST ANYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA about yourself until the case is over.