Users of social networks have access to a wide range of media and tools through which they can disseminate information about themselves. This is also true for injury victims, who may use social media to document and disseminate details about their incident.
Multiple experts in the area, however, recommend that you be extremely cautious when using your networks in relation to the details of an accident. Many posts and photos may contain valuable information that could be used to prove (or disprove) your side of the story, including geolocation data, information about your daily activities, and even information about your behavior.
If you are injured in an accident and you file a lawsuit, the defendant’s insurance company will try to show that your pain does not warrant the compensation you are seeking for your pain. If you claim to be in severe pain, but your social media posts show otherwise, the defendant can use your posts to invalidate your claim in court. Additionally, it is common practice for investigators to track your activity on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In order to search for evidence to invalidate your claim, an investigator will extensively search your friends list, followers, websites, LinkedIn profile, and just about anything that could be used to deny your version of events. This is why, during the investigation phase of your claim, you must ensure that your online activity does not allow them to generate a negative assessment of your personal situation based on the following questions:
- Do your social media posts reveal that you regularly smile or engage in recreational activities?
- Do you have an active social life?
- What places have you recently visited, is there geographical data on these?
- What information do your posts reveal about your claim?
- Do you participate in activities that could be making your injuries worse?
- Do your activities interfere with the medical treatment that has been prescribed for you?
In order to prevent the defendant from obtaining any information that could be used to build a narrative against you, it is recommended that you limit or avoid the use of social media as much as possible. If you’re not good at social media, it’s best to give it up completely, at least until your case is resolved.