Social media frequently exposes a large portion of our lives to the public. Seeing as insurance companies are tasked with preventing the payment of damages to personal injury victims to decrease losses, it is extremely important that the exhibition of a defendant’s life is tightly controlled.
While pursuing a personal injury claim, there are a number of social media mistakes that our personal injury lawyers in Gwinnett County suggest you avoid.
The permanency of a digital footprint
One of the most essential takeaways from social media is that social media mistakes can be virtually forever. Unfortunately, digital footprints mean that it is virtually impossible to fully scrub someone’s presence off of the internet. When applied to legal cases involving social media, it becomes of utmost importance that said social media posts, comments, etc., do not jeopardize your personal injury case.
Something as simple as a comment under a friend’s post could be enough to indicate to a jury one thing or another. Legal teams will take advantage of these opportunities in order to paint a broader picture of your situation that may not be entirely true. This, in turn, allows them to present this new image in a court of law to help them win the case. It has therefore become extremely important to keep a close eye on personal injury social media as some plaintiffs have discovered that their actions online have greatly complicated their legal matters.
Avoid common social media mistakes with these tips
Personal injury lawyers in Gwinnett County have a great deal of experience in cases in which the plaintiff’s actions on social media have been brought up in the courtroom. It is through this experience that Rafi Law Firm has come to write a list of tips and tricks for those looking to better manage their online presence, especially during a personal injury case.
Re-evaluate your privacy settings
Privacy settings may arguably be one of the most significant aspects of social media on a personal injury case. Ensuring that your content is kept private and that you are in control of who can and cannot see your activity on social media is critical to ensuring that the defense is unable to use this activity against you. Yet, this is not foolproof, and there is still a possibility that they create burner accounts or stalk your loved ones’ accounts.
Don’t discuss the incident or injury on social media
Secondarily, it is almost always requested by your legal counsel that you do not talk about the incident or injury on social media. This is one of the primary social media mistakes that victims often face as retellings of the same personal injury with omitted or extra details, among other things, can be used as weapons and leverage in the courtroom later.
Avoid posting about your emotions
Avoiding talking about how you are feeling is an additional, critical step in protecting yourself online during a personal injury case. Even in a general sense, this information could be used against you if you were to indicate that you were feeling positive or better over the course of your injury recovery period. An insurance company considering a medical payout for therapy, for example, might be inclined to use this as evidence against you in a court of law.
Watch what you post
Personal injury cases are additionally unique in the sense that they require that someone is incapable of their former physical functions as a result of the incident. Likewise, posting pictures or videos of you doing something active can result in an argument from the opposing party that you are capable of such things and are not in need of additional compensation, such as going to a Labor Day celebration after a car accident, for example.
Understand that deleting a post doesn’t delete it forever
Attempting to cover one’s tracks and delete previously posted information that reflects some of the previous points can additionally be used against someone. Personal injury lawyers in Gwinnett County suggest being extremely careful with one’s activity on social media from the get-go immediately after the incident.
Legal cases involving social media in the real world
Insurance companies will sometimes go to far lengths to incriminate someone in a court of law using social media. One such example was that of Allied Concrete Company v. Lester (2013). In this case, the trial court ordered a remitter of over $4 million of a wrongful death award from Lester after he and his lawyer conspired to remove photos from his Facebook page and then lied about it to the court. It is all too common for legal teams to use social media to deteriorate the credibility of victims after an unearthing of what they’ve posted.
Want to learn more about personal injury and social media? Give us a call.
As mentioned, it is essential that victims of personal injuries take action immediately, especially when it comes to their behavior on social media. To better handle your case, reach out to our skilled injury lawyers in Gwinnett County at (404) 800-9933.