Does Social Media Have an Impact on Your Personal Injury Claim?
In social media, no one is safe. Aside from the fact that any video or picture you post on the internet stays forever, it can hurt any claim you may have against a company, especially an insurance company.
Insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid liability. That includes rummaging over old posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to disprove your personal injury claim.
People and Social Media
According to We Are Social, 45% of the world’s population – that’s 3.5 billion – use social media. Each of these devotes an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day using social media and messaging. In a 2018 social media report, it was found that social media was seen as an opportunity to stay connected with friends and an opportunity for social engagement.
If the reason for using social media is because of social engagement, then why do we devote this much time using them than connecting with our friends in real life? Well, studies show that when we use social media websites, there is a reward stimulant in the brain that reinforces this behavior.
It appears that with every like, comment, or reaction to our posts, videos, and photos, we are convinced to continue using these online platforms. This explains why more people use social media every day, and why we all know someone who updates their social media every day.
Social Media as Evidence in Court
Regardless of your Facebook privacy settings, your information is not safe. Recent cases decided in court have shown that social media is discoverable as long as it is relevant to the case. Thus, whether your privacy settings make your posts available only to your friends or close family members, your account may still be subject of evidence if your posts involve your personal injury case.
In the 2009 case of Largent v. Reed, the claimant was part of a chain-reaction auto accident. She alleged serious and permanent physical and mental injuries, among others. The defendant raised that it wanted to access information from claimant’s Facebook account on the ground that Facebook allows access in response to a legal request under its terms and conditions.
The court ruled that the claimant was seeking monetary damages due to her health issues and that such type of claim would vitiate certain privacy interests. Therefore, any Facebook post that would concern her mental or physical health is discoverable. The account was subject of discovery. It allowed the court to learn that the claimant had a good bill of health and even had photos and updates of her exercising at the gym.
The latter case of Romano v. Steelcase decided in 2010 also has the same premise. An employee filed a product liability lawsuit when the chair she had been sitting on at work collapsed. She argued that she had stayed at home and was unable to socialize with friends and do important tasks. However, upon inspection of her Facebook account, they found that she had been leaving the house and spending time with her friends.
What To Do When You Have a Personal Injury Claim
Regardless your claim involves a car accident, motorcycle accident, dog bite, malpractice, other type of injury injury claim, whether reasonable or excessive, it is still best to stay away from social media sites. No one ever posts photos of them sad or in pain. Thus, anything you post may be used against you to depict a good and healthy disposition even when in reality, that is not the case.
No matter how good your claim is, insurance companies are ruthless and may do whatever it takes to minimize or eradicate their liability. So don’t be a victim to these tactics. Stay away from social media in the meantime while you focus on your claim and your recovery.
Your Trusted Personal Injury Law Firm in Michigan
Need a personal injury lawyer? Contact the Clark Law Office today. The Clark Law Office is composed of highly professional and experienced trial lawyers. With our extensive knowledge of the law and evidence discovery, we can help you get a full claim against unreasonable companies. Leave your personal injury claim to us so that you can focus on your health. Call The Clark Law Office today and let’s talk about your personal injury claim.