When people file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, they don’t even consider the possibility that their social media activity can have an impact on their case. But the reality is that insurance company representative and defense law firms often monitor the Facebook and other social media accounts of personal injury claimants for evidence that the claimant is fabricating, exaggerating, or is otherwise not credible in their official statements in their claim or lawsuit.
Read more: Personal Injury: How Long Will My Case Take?
Posts Can Be Used to Contradict Your Statements
Opposing parties in a personal injury claim or suit will review your Facebook and other social media postings for evidence that contradicts your official statements in your claim or case or that otherwise impacts your credibility.
For example, on your Facebook or other social media account you may post about your accident or publicly discuss the accident with your family members and friends and other connections on Facebook. If you describe details about your accident in a way that contradicts official statements you’ve given in your insurance claim or allegations you’ve made in a personal injury lawsuit, the insurance company or opposing party may point to your Facebook posts as proof that you have fabricated or exaggerated your claims, or at the very least that your recollection is shaky and therefore you are not a credible witness.
Even if you don’t directly talk about your accident on Facebook or social media, other postings you make can also harm your case. Opposing parties in personal injury claims will also review your photos and videos that you post following your accident for proof that you are not as seriously injured as you are claiming. Photos and video of yourself being active, such as playing sports, engaging in recreational activities, or recreationally traveling, or even photos and video of you doing simple tasks like lifting groceries into your car can be offered to show that you either were never as seriously injured as you claimed or, if you claim to continue to suffer from pain or disability, that you’ve reached full recovery.
Read more: Personal Injury Claims: The Basics And FAQs
Steps to Protect Your Social Media Accounts During Your Personal Injury Claim
Obviously, the best way to protect yourself in your personal injury claim or suit is to stay off of Facebook and social media until your claim or case is resolved. Of course, if you use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, it may not be reasonable to ask you to cut yourself off from your loved ones. However, you can take steps to ensure that your Facebook and other social media accounts are not later used against you in your personal injury case:
- Avoid directly discussing your accident and injuries on social media
- If possible, avoid posting photos or videos of yourself, and detag yourself from any photos or videos of you posted by others
- Set your profile and post visibilities to only your connections, or if possible, only to friends and family you regularly connect with on Facebook or social media
- Do not accept friend or connection requests from anyone you do not know — they may be working for the insurance company or defense attorney in your case
Contact an Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. represent clients injured in New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Middletown, Howell, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 906-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.