What Can I Post on Social Media After a Personal Injury?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat … whichever social media platform is your favorite place to post updates about yourself if you are involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit you need to take care and be smart with what you post. Though you may have set up your account with all of the appropriate privacy settings and be under the impression that what you share is only seen by your friends, many courts have ruled that social media posts are discoverable, and that means that they can be used against you in a civil lawsuit.
Personal injury lawsuits are all about the damage that has been done as a matter of negligence or carelessness, and a good portion of the testimony provided – and request for damages – rests on what you as a plaintiff say about your injuries. The defense will attempt to prove that they were not negligent, but are also likely to focus a good deal of their argument on whether or not you actually suffered the damages that you are claiming – and if you have posted photos on Facebook that seem to contradict the testimony that you are providing on your own behalf, then it can work against your ability to get the compensation that you deserve.
Examples of how photos posted on Facebook and other social media can work against plaintiffs in personal injury cases abound.
- A woman seeking damages for serious and permanent injuries following an automobile accident posted photos on Facebook that showed her happily skiing while on vacation. Her Facebook account was ruled discoverable, she was required to provide her log-in information to the defensive counsel, and her case suffered.
- A man who claimed that he suffered permanent injuries as a result of using a forklift at work posted photos of himself doing bike stunts during the course of his trial. The court ruled that the information that was available on Facebook was admissible and relevant to the legitimacy of his claims.
- A woman was rear-ended while driving and claimed that as a result of her injuries she was no longer able to wrestle with her brother or to dance. She posted photos of herself being lifted into the air by her brother, as well as dancing. Her case was dismissed.
Not only can photos or comments posted on social media be used as evidence discounting claims of physical injury – they can also be used to show that you are not suffering the emotional distress that you are claiming. Something as seemingly innocent as a photo of yourself smiling will delegitimize claims of depression.
There is a great deal that goes into filing a personal injury lawsuit, and the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers take their role in your case very seriously. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We will explain all the steps, as well as the dos and don’ts, to making your claim a successful one.