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How Facebook Can Ruin Your Personal Injury Claim

By John Hipskind on December 9, 2015

If you were seriously hurt in an auto accident and you are trying to recover financial restitution through a personal injury claim, stay off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Posting on these platforms will only do your case harm.

Why? Because your posts, tweets, and updates may contain information about you that could actually be used against you by insurance defense lawyers. Make no mistake, these parties are experienced and have the know-how and resources to find your information. It is becoming more common for defense lawyers to take screen shots of your social media accounts and attempt to submit them as evidence against you during litigation. They will point to photos you posted, or tweets you sent out, to try and suggest that you were not really hurt that bad, or you were still active and able to enjoy life while you were out of work.

Personal injury cases have been ruined by ill-advised social media posts.

There have been news stories about cases where an inujured plaintiff claimed they had no life, could not participate in any strenuous physical activities, used to love to dance and play sports, etc. The defense attorney then monitored the plaintiff’s Facebook page found recent photos of the plaintiff dancing at a wedding and playing basketball. He’d also posted lots of information about his activities and feelings. The plaintiff’s case was ruined by his own Facebook profile.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming the privacy settings of your account can keep insurance companies from seeing your information. In today’s technology filled world it is wise to understand that once something goes online it is online forever and can’t be deleted. Therefore be smart and consider everything you are posting for the world to see.

Most importantly NEVER misrepresent your level of activity in the wake of an injury and/or during a personal injury case. If the insurance company and defense are led to believe your activities are limited but then you post a video or picture on social media that contradicts your ability to do these things, your claim can greatly suffer.

Our advice is the following:

  • Always be truthful about your claim
  • We understand your case is not the only aspect of your life and that life goes on. But refrain from posting unsavory content on Facebook or any other social media accounts that have the potential to affect your claim.
  • If you already have nonsensical stuff posted on your social media sites, it is best to be straight forward and not hide it.

So, the next you post something on Facebook or Twitter or any social media take the time to consider how you would interpret the information posted on your profiles if you were a defense attorney looking for ways to poke holes in the case. Don’t make their job easier for them which in turn is hurts your claim.

If you or a loved one has a potential personal injury case or a legal question, please feel free to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hipskind & McAninch for a FREE consultation to discuss your legal issues in order to determine whether legal representation could actually benefit you.   P: 618.641.9189 (IL) / 314.312.2930.

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