The use of social media is ubiquitous in today's world, with more teens and adults maintaining social media accounts than ever before. The Pew Research Center reports that in 2016, 79% of internet users, and 68% of all American adults, used Facebook.
While today's culture may encourage the sharing of personal information online - and arguably provides a unique way for people to connect and stay in touch - there is at least one occasion when the use of social media is highly discouraged: following an accident that could result in a personal injury claim. Consider the following downsides of using social media following an injury accident or while in the midst of a personal injury case.
Out of Context Social Media Posts Could Discredit Your Injury Claims:
If you have been injured and are pursuing damages against another party, you can almost guarantee that that party - be it an insurance adjuster or an attorney - will request access to your social media account. Further, keep in mind that anything posted on the internet is public information and can be used as evidence against you.
Because of this, out of context social media posts could be detrimental to your claims of injuries and pain and suffering. Consider the following hypothetical examples:
- You suffer a broken leg in a car accident, which leaves you practically immobile, and in a lot of pain. A week before the accident occurred, you went for a great bike ride with your family along the Cherry Creek Trail. Without thinking about it, you post the picture a few days after you suffer your accident. To an insurance adjuster, the picture appears to be recent, seriously negating your claims of a broken leg. As such, the insurance adjuster denies your claim.
- After suffering serious physical injuries due to a bad car accident, you suffer severe anxiety and depression. Your mental health provider suggests that you start writing as a form of therapy. Because blogs are commonplace these days, you decide to keep a blog online to help you. Over the course of a few months, you post numerous blog posts that highlight positive things in your life, such as how grateful you feel to be alive, how supportive your spouse has been during the recovery process, and how you are happy to report that while recovery is slow, you are feeling much better. Because your blog is public, an insurance adjuster follows it closely, and uses these positive reports to refute your claims of pain and suffering, arguing that your blog provides proof of how well you're doing.
Posts Could Be Used to Shift Blame:
Another risk of posting on social media following an accident is that a comment that you make that appears innocent could actually be used against you to shift the blame from the at-fault party to you. For example, saying something like "I wish I hadn't..." or "I'm sorry that..." are often construed as admissions of guilt and fault. An insurance adjuster may use these statements to prove that you believed yourself to be partially to blame for the accident, and therefore that the amount of compensation you will receive should be reduced.
Protect Yourself - Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney Today:
If you are injured due to the fault of another, our experienced Denver personal injury attorneys strongly recommend that you temporary disable your social media accounts, and call our law firm to schedule a free consultation immediately. Not only will we help you understand the dos and don'ts of using social media after an accident, but we will also analyze your case and improve your chances of recovering a full settlement amount. You can get in touch with us today by calling us directly at (303) 782-9999 or by using the online case evaluation form found on our website.