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How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

As the years go on, social media is becoming more and more ingrained into our everyday lives. While social media has certainly changed our lives in many positive ways, it does come with legal downsides you may not be aware of. One big issue that social media can play a role in is your personal injury claim.

It’s essential to be aware of the risks that social media can cause to your personal injury claim because it could affect your overall compensation and injury coverage in the long run.

This guide will fill you in on how social media can affect your personal injury claim and give tips on what to do with your social media if you find yourself in this situation.  

Social Media Evidence in Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to personal injuries, legal evidence of your accident or injuries can be found in a variety of different ways. In fact, many investigators are now relying heavily on social media for personal injury cases as evidence can be found right at your fingertips.

One way that insurance companies can use social media against you is through your written posts on social media. For example, you post a story about a car accident and accidentally incriminate yourself by mentioning details that weren’t in your original story. Even if these details are off by a little, you could still be held accountable. Therefore, it’s best to avoid making any statuses online altogether.

Likewise, photos and video could also seriously discredit your personal injury claim. So, if you are seeking coverage for your injuries, it’s in your best interest not to post you out and about. This could make insurance companies believe that you are lying about your injuries and jeopardize your claim. You should also not post any videos or images of the accident or injury itself. 

The best way to handle social media while filing your personal injury claim is to keep all accounts private and post as little as possible. Also, avoid publicly commenting on anyone else’s feed as these comments may be viewable to the public eye. 

Social Media Investigations in Injury Cases

Insurance companies investigate personal injury claims in many different ways through social media. 

One strange but common thing you should be aware of is that many insurance companies will create fake profiles and send you a friend request in hopes to gain more information to discredit you and gather more evidence to use against your claim. Therefore, if you notice any odd or random friend or follower requests, it’s best not to accept them.

In serious cases, a court may even order your social media posts to use as evidence for your claim. This is where things get tricky.

The biggest mistake people make in this case is deleting any past photos or videos in hopes to cover up the evidence they put out. Unfortunately, the internet is permanent, so the second something is sent out, it stays there forever.

Courts can easily redeem past deleted photos, videos, and social media posts even after they are “permanently deleted.” Another mistake people make is deleting their accounts, which can also be restored in most cases.

Avoid ever deleting evidence on social media because you could be charged with “spoliation,” which could send you down another legal rabbit hole.

Social Media and Comparative Negligence

Social media can play a big role in the determination of comparative negligence in a personal injury case. For example, if the party who caused the injury notices any evidence on your social media that contradicts your claim, you could be held responsible for a portion of the financial damages involved in the claim.

Social media can affect your level of fault in a case because your photos, videos, and statuses could provide clear-cut evidence of the role you played in the incident. It could also lessen the severity of the injuries that took place when the accident occurred.

For example, if you post a status admitting any sort of fault for a car accident and you post a video of yourself engaging in sports or another physical activity days after a car accident, it could indicate to insurance companies that you are lying about your injuries, giving the at-fault party the upper-hand.

Social Media and Settlement Negotiations

During a personal injury settlement, the plaintiff will be offered a specific amount of money to not move forward with the case and bring it to court. Social media is one big factor that can impact the negotiation process of a settlement in a personal injury case. 

Settlement negotiations are meant to be 100% confidential. However, with social media on display for the entire world to see, “confidential” does not apply.

Attorneys can use evidence on social media to their client’s advantage making a more convincing argument to a jury. This includes direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, and character evidence.

Direct evidence specifically involves the evidence of the case itself, circumstantial evidence applies to posts or messages that indirectly reference the case, and character evidence applies to the person’s overall character or persona.

It’s extremely important to be cautious of your social media usage during a settlement negotiation. Not only can evidence relating to the case be used against you, but even how you portray yourself as an individual could play a huge role in your injury settlement.

Social Media and Professional Ethics for Personal Injury Lawyers

There are also some ethical considerations to keep in mind for personal injury lawyers and the way they handle their social media platforms.

If you are an attorney, it’s important to avoid posting anything publicly about your case without the consent of your client. This is especially true if what you are posting paints your client in a bad light.

The only time it is acceptable to post anything confidential is if it is meant to prevent death or severe harm, prevent the client from committing a crime, point out fraud or inaccurate information, gain legal advice about rules or laws associated with the law firm, defending lawyers associated with a case, or when required to by a court order. Each of these standards is highlighted in Rule 1.6b.

If you are a client and discover that your lawyer has breached your confidential information via social media, it’s important to report the issue right away. Your personal injury attorney could face serious legal consequences for doing so.

Hire Naqvi Law for Your Personal Injury Claim

Overall, if you ever find yourself in a personal injury claim, it’s important to keep your social media handles private and if possible, avoid posting altogether. Doing so will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve and avoid running into unnecessary legal troubles. Remember to also never delete anything from your social media or close your account, as this could make matters worse.

If you are searching for the best injury attorney in Nevada, you’ve come to the right place. Our personal injury attorneys at Naqvi Injury Law will go above and beyond to fight for your claim with the utmost care, dedication, and professionalism you deserve.

By choosing us to represent you, you will not need to pay anything out of pocket until your case is won. With all that we do, it’s no wonder why we are ranked the #1 law firm in Nevada.

If you’re ready to work with us, start by receiving a free consultation or give us a call at (702) 919-6818.