Nowadays, people want to keep their friends and family updated instantly with what’s happening in their lives. A popular way to do so is to display what’s happening on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This can be fun most of the time; but how can it affect your case if you are the party to a personal injury claim?
Insurance companies might go to great lengths to keep from paying top dollar for personal injury claims. This can include having the claims adjuster troll your social media pages for ways to find evidence that you may not be as injured as you claim. This is not much more than common sense: if you claim you were so injured that you can barely pick up a remote control, but you post on Facebook pictures of yourself jumping on a trampoline or doing Mixed Martial Arts, you might have a big problem. Therefore, it’s helpful to know some do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media while your personal injury claim is ongoing.
Social Media Rules to Keep in Mind
The best practice is to give up social media altogether while your personal injury case is ongoing; however, if you feel you are unable to take that leap, here are some simple rules to follow until your case has been resolved.
DON’T post information about your claim.
DON’T post any comments or opinions on your page or other people’s pages. In doing so you may say something that would contradict your statement or testimony, even if you don’t realize you’ve done so.
DON’T post pictures of yourself. You may think the picture your posting is harmless, but an insurance adjuster may be able to use it against you. For example, if you have a back injury and post a picture of yourself sitting on a bike, the adjuster may try to use that to say that you must not be as injured as you claim or you wouldn’t be able to ride a bike.
DON’T delete information you’ve already posted. You may be tempted to delete things you’ve posted, but this is definitely not a good idea. Just as you wouldn’t want a person who ran into your car in an auto wreck to delete photos of the cars, you should avoid altering or deleting or destroying any potential evidence in your case. If you do so, you could be facing something called spoliation of evidence, which can lead to all sorts of problems in your case, and sometimes even to dismissal of your case.
In addition to spoliation, the alteration or destruction of evidence, another problem with posting information on social media about a personal injury case is that the posts you make could become admissible evidence. The question of whether something is admissible in your case is a question generally for the judge handling your case, so there are few absolute rules to guide us here, but the main point is this: why take a chance on posting something that might be misinterpreted and harm your case?
So, our advice to clients is generally to avoid posting new information on social media about a wreck or injuries, and to never destroy any evidence, including social media posts. As it goes with common decency, so it goes with the law (usually): Just do the right thing!
Personal Injury Attorney Jarome Gautreaux goes the extra mile to protect his clients. He helps injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve. Call Gautreaux Law today for a free one-on-one strategy session. As always, we don’t charge any fee unless we recover money. 478-238-9758.