Social media inhabits a great deal of our daily lives. It’s how you stay connected with friends, communicate with family members, share photos of your family, and express your personal thoughts and opinions with others. Many of us are so used to sharing our daily thoughts and experiences on social media that we don’t even think twice about it. But if you’re in the middle of pursuing litigation for a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to pump the brakes on your tweets and status updates. Here’s how posting on social media during a personal injury lawsuit can harm your case.
Updates on Your Injuries
If you’ve been injured by a faulty product, negligent medical professional, or careless driver, your friends and family probably want to know how you’re doing. They want to know how you’re feeling, how your treatments are going, and if you’re recovering. Of course, social media may seem like the perfect place to post these kinds of updates. Don’t do it.
Even the simplest of updates on your injuries or treatments can be taken out of context and used to diminish or even dismiss your case. For example, you may choose to post a seemingly innocent status update saying, “I’m feeling much better today. The pain is under control and I almost feel normal again.” While your intent may have been to highlight a good day amidst many, many bad ones, this update can be taken out of context and used to indicate that your claims of pain and suffering are false. Even though your update was in reference to only a temporary improvement of your conditions, this would not be reflected in your single post and can be used against you.
For reasons like these, it is best to keep any updates regarding your injuries, treatments, or overall physical condition off of social media. If you have many individuals who want to receive updates on how you’re doing (and you probably do), consider a group text or email, or simply ask them to call you one of your close family members to ask how you are.
Posting about Physical Activities
This is another type of post that you likely won’t think twice about putting online. After all, we are so accustomed to sharing our activities on social media that the thought of not sharing our lives with our friends and family online may seem like a foreign concept. But consider this:
You’ve been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, and have chosen to pursue litigation for the pain and expenses related to your back injury. While litigation is still ongoing, you take a long-awaited trip to Disneyland with your family. Though you’re still in pain, you’ve had this trip planned for months and have decided you simply can’t miss it. You manage your pain with prescribed medications, continue therapy exercises while on your trip, and share photos of you and your family at the park together.
Those photos can be used against you in the trial just as the aforementioned status update would be. The defense could choose to use those photos as evidence that you were still capable of engaging in healthy physical activities, such as walking around a theme park all day; and, therefore, they may try to claim that your pain and suffering is not as severe as you claimed it to be.
It is best to simply not post about any physical activities you may be engaging in while pursuing this type of litigation because, like a status update, these types of photos and posts do not provide a comprehensive picture of your case. When taken out of context, they can be used to paint a very different picture than what you have shared in court, and it can be extremely detrimental to your case.
Discussing Details of the Case
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do not post anything relating to your personal injury case online. Sharing details about meetings with your lawyer or interactions with your insurance company is problematic when you’re embroiled in a legal battle, to say the least. Keep this information to yourself and perhaps your immediate family if you feel the need to share with them; however, in legal matters, the closer you hold such information, the better.
When in Doubt, Don’t Post
If you’re ever unsure about whether or not something you’re posting could be detrimental to your case, just don’t post it. In fact, it may be best to refrain from social media updates altogether, and to ask that your close friends and family members don’t post anything regarding your updates either.
If you’ve been injured and are seeking representation for a personal injury lawsuit, give us a call to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. We’ll provide you with a consultation to evaluate your case and determine how we can help. Call now!