After an injury caused by somebody’s else’s negligence, you might have the inclination to post about it to social media. Whether you are ranting about the situation, updating your friends on your condition, or sharing photos of where the injury happened, you should think twice before posting about a personal injury lawsuit to the internet — or, posting anything in general, says HG.
In a personal injury lawsuit, everything you do or say can be used against you by the defendant, and your social media posts are no exception. In this guide, our Westchester, NY personal injury lawyers will explain how posting to social media during a lawsuit can negatively impact your case and how to avoid having your own words and photos used against you.
Can I post on social media during a personal injury lawsuit?
It is normal to want to rant or vent to friends online after a frustrating situation like a car accident. You might also want to pretend that nothing is wrong and continue to post normal updates on your life. Unfortunately, both of these can negatively impact your personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, you are on trial and the defendant’s attorneys are going to do everything they can to disprove your claims, including going through your social media to find evidence.
For example, if you post a status update saying “I was just in a car accident, but I’m okay!”, your words can easily be flipped against you. You might not know the extent of your injuries yet, and when suing later for a personal injury, the defendant could point to the word “okay” as an admission of exaggerating your injuries in court.
Likewise, if you post yourself having fun with family and friends, engaging in physically demanding activities, or even leaving your house when you should be resting, the defendant could argue that you are lying about the extent of your injuries if you can still engage in your normal life.
In both instances, your own posts will hurt your personal injury lawsuit and could lead to less compensation — or no compensation at all.
How can I protect myself on social media during a personal injury lawsuit?
The best thing that you post online after a personal injury is nothing at all. If there are no posts on your social media accounts that point to your injuries (or lack thereof), the defendant cannot use them against you. Even if you delete the posts, nothing is ever truly deleted online, so the best thing you can do is think twice before posting anything.
You should also adjust your privacy settings on social media to protect yourself. However, your posts are never entirely private, so this should not be done to simply hide your post updates during your personal injury lawsuit. On Facebook, hide your posts, friends list, and email and phone number. Tell your friends and family not to tag you in their posts or discuss their opinions on your case online. On Instagram and Twitter, set your accounts to “private.” Better yet, deactivate or archive your accounts altogether until the end of your trial. Block any followers that you don’t fully trust, and vet users that try to follow you as well.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case
You should share information with your personal injury lawyer about your injury, but not the internet. You never know what will be used against you in court, or by who. Posting nothing is better than posting anything at all. If you have any questions about posting online during a personal injury lawsuit, a Yonkers, NY personal injury lawyer can answer them further.