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How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

Most social media users use their accounts as the window to their life. Whether they are going through a good or a bad time, they will post it for the world to see.

For the most part, there is no harm in doing so. However, if you are pursuing a personal injury claim, this innocent activity may not be such a good thing because the information you share can harm your case.

Contradicting Your Testimony

Plaintiffs in personal injury claims have the burden of proof built through the evidence and the statements made in court. Conversely, the defendant will seek to poke holes in the evidence and testimony to avoid liability to lower the claim’s value.

By posting on social media, you could unknowingly give the defendant’s team the information they need to counter your claim or poke holes in your testimony. For example, imagine you suffer fractures in an accident, and a few days after the injury, you post about how great you feel.

While you could want to mean you feel great compared to other days, the defendant’s team can use such a post to claim you weren’t as affected by the accident as you claim.

Unrelated Posts Could Still Affect Your Case

Contradicting your testimony goes beyond the statements you make on social media. Sometimes, the post can be completely unrelated to the accident, but the opposing side will still find contradictions.

Take, for example, you are in an accident. A few weeks or days after the accident, you are at a friend’s party, taking photos of yourself having a good time. The opposing side can use such to claim that the accident did not disrupt your life as you claim and so seek to devalue your claim.

Besides your posts, the opposing side can use mentions and tags on posts by family members and close friends to track what you do after an accident and ultimately impact your case.

How to Approach Social Media After an Accident

“The best rule of thumb is to avoid social media if you intend to pursue a claim. However, this may not be an option for everyone, considering you could take up to several years after an accident to file a claim as long as you do it within your state’s statute of limitation,” says Attorney Max Paderewski of Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC.

If you can’t stay away, it is best to adopt a safe approach to posting, such as having your lawyer vet all your posts before posting.

Consider editing your privacy settings, too. Privacy settings determine who sees your posts and who does not.

Most social media platforms allow for categorizing posts as private, where only friends can see, or public, where everyone on the platform can see. Also, consider pausing accepting friend requests when navigating a claim.

What If You Have Made Mistakes?

Sadly, most people don’t understand the damage social media causes to a claim and only learn about it when they have made mistakes. The last thing you want to do in such situations is to delete posts.

The other side may still find ways to retrieve the posts, and the action could paint you in a bad light. The best course of action is to contact a lawyer to help you salvage what’s left of your case.

While they may not undo all the damage, a good lawyer can still improve your odds and minimize the damage your mistakes have made.

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