Many of us are very much attached to social media. It has become an omnipresent feature of everyday life, from Facebook to Instagram or Snapchat – we cannot resist the lure sharing our lives with friends, family, and even acquaintances, posting pictures of food, vacations, or the shoes on our feet. More than three-quarters of all adults with a computer and internet access use one or more social media platform regularly. While this is certainly a fun way to stay engaged and connected to those we know, it can be incredibly harmful while in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit.
Social media is one of the newest ways in which an opposing attorney might look for proof that an injured party is either lying or exaggerating about any injuries. This is particularly true if your privacy settings are non-existent and allow anyone to easily spy on your daily activities. Anything you decide to post on social media is considered public information and can be used against you in a court of law, so if there is something you would not want to be shown to a judge, refrain from posting it on social media.
In a personal injury claim, social media can easily work against you. If you post a picture of yourself at a birthday party looking happy, it might be argued that the injury did not affect you as much as you claim, since you appear to be enjoying yourself. If you were trying to sue the responsible party for your injuries on the basis that the accident resulted in emotional distress, medical bills, and lost wages, the attorney for the at-fault party will surely turn this innocent photo of you looking happy into proof that you are lying about the extent of your claims.
You might be posting so that people do know the troubles you are currently enduring, but the reasoning will not matter in court. A picture is worth a thousand words and an attorney will use everything you post on social media to harm your case.
Stop Using Social Media
The best advice anyone can give you is to stop using social media for the duration of your personal injury lawsuit. This includes deactivating any social media accounts you might have. This might be difficult for some, especially if social media is part of your job, so here are some tips to help lessen the potential damage your social media presence could cause:
- Check all of the privacy settings on your social media profiles to ensure they are all set to private.
- Be careful when it comes to sharing photos. Upload only one at a time and consider whether or not it could be misinterpreted if it found its way into the courtroom.
- Never accept friend requests from strangers.
- If you have a Facebook profile, make sure the option labeled “Public Search Listing” is not checked. You do not want your profile to come up on a Google search.
- Do not join any groups that involve subjects that could compromise your claim. For example, if you injured your leg, do not join any running groups or groups relating to physical activity until after your case is settled.
Ultimately, if you continue to use social media, you must always exercise good judgment before opting to share something. Always ask yourself how a particular photo or status update might be perceived if it wound up in the hands of the opposing side and always err on the side of caution if you are in doubt.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Woodbridge
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be feeling incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated. Dealing with insurance companies adds to the frustration and chaos and, oftentimes, many are unsure how to proceed. Before accepting any offers from an insurance company, it is crucial to share the details of your case with an experienced Woodbridge personal injury attorney. At Palmisano & Goodman, P.A., we are here to ensure you are aware of all your rights and will fight for you to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our skilled Woodbridge legal team has over 40 years of experience and have successfully handled nearly every type of personal injury case, so you can be confident in our ability to handle yours. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, with 40 of those settlements ranging between $1 million and $10 million.
Call us today at (732) 709-4400 for a free consultation.