How social media can derail your personal injury case

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you want to recover as much compensation as you can from your personal injury case, then you need to develop a strong legal strategy. While that certainly includes gathering evidence that speaks to causation and your damages, you’ll also want to avoid making some costly mistakes that could jeopardize the viability of your claim and the amount of compensation you can recover. This week we want to look at one serious mistake that victims often make: posting on social media.

Social media can be a great way to relieve your stress and connect with your friends and family, but it can also be risky in the personal injury context. Let’s look at why you need to be careful when posting on social media after your wreck.

Even if you think that your social media profiles are private, there are cunning ways that the defense can get their hands on your posts and pictures of you. Here’s how they might use this evidence against you in your personal injury case:

  • To show that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim them to be: You might have medical records showing the extent and the severity of your injuries, but your claim for pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life, which can make up a significant portion of your recovery, can be undercut by social media pictures of you engaging in physical activities and enjoying a night out on the town. It doesn’t matter that social media tends to portray only the best parts of our lives. The defense is going to take your posts out of context and twist them any way they can to use them against you.
  • To show that you’re capable of working: Generally, when you’ve been injured and pursue legal action you have a duty to mitigate your damages. For example, you can’t just stay at home and choose not to work and then seek to recover “lost wages” when you were fully capable of working in the first place. If your social media posts show that you’re healthy enough to work, then the defense is likely going to attack your claimed lost wages.
  • To show that you’re partially responsible for the accident: If you post on social media about the cause of your accident, then you might inadvertently say something that can be construed as accepting blame for the accident. The defense will then use this statement to try to pin the accident on you, which could result in your recovery being significantly diminished if not completely barred.
  • To attack your credibility: You want your testimony at trial to be powerful. But if the defense has social media posts that contradict your in-court testimony, then the judge and jury aren’t going to trust what you have to say. You’ll want to avoid that from happening to you if possible.

Be ready for whatever the defense throws at you in your personal injury case

There are a lot of considerations to take into account when you’ve been injured in an accident and are pursuing a personal injury claim. You have to give each of them the attention they deserve, otherwise you could be taken by surprise and your case could be devastated. Thorough planning is key to your success.

FindLaw Network