Social media has become a part of everyday life for most people, with one report finding that 94% of online Canadian adults have signed up for at least one social media account. While there are many positives to social media, like staying in touch with friends and family, in a personal injury case, social media can impact your personal injury claim in many negative ways, and not all are obvious. The intention behind this blog post is to point out some of the dangers of social media and how it may seriously impact your personal injury claim in a negative way and also provide you with some easy tips on how to avoid those traps.
These days, more and more insurance companies and defence lawyers are turning to social media to help them discredit the claims of personal injury claimants. It is more important than ever that you understand the consequences of posting to your social media accounts, and the ways that these posts can impact litigation.
How can your social media posts be used against you?
Most personal injury claims revolve around the credibility of the claimant. So, if there is anything on your social media that could suggest that you are not telling the truth about your injuries, that could cause trouble for your claim. For example, if you told your doctor that you are no longer able to move due to back pain, make sure not to post photos of yourself rock climbing or playing hockey or doing any activities that clearly suggest that you are not suffering from back pain.
This is extremely important because some times you may have a good day or a good few days where you may feel you can do certain activities that you usually can not as a result of your injury. The insurance company will not appreciate that fact and simply assume that your picture or video showing that activity is proof of your dishonesty and further proof that you are not injured.
This is also why it is so important to always be truthful about your injuries. If you get caught in a lie through your social media, your credibility will be shot and your chances of getting compensated go down the drain.
Unfortunately, even those who are totally truthful about their injuries can get hurt by their social media. Any old social media posts about past injuries can come back to haunt you, and even the most innocent photo can be used by the defence to suggest that you shouldn’t get the compensation you deserve.
So make sure if you are posting a picture of video of an activity that you were part of, that you date the picture to clearly show that it was an activity before the injury date.
Social media tips
The best thing to do is to stay off of social media entirely while your case is still going. You may even want to consider disabling your accounts during your case so that old posts can’t come back to haunt you.
But if you absolutely must stay connected, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Think before you post
Anytime you are thinking of posting something to social media, think about how it would look to the insurance company or the people on the other side of your claim. Make sure that you never post anything that could be interpreted as contradicting anything you have already said about your claim.
2. Keep things private
Update all of your privacy settings and make sure that the friends that you are sharing with are actually people that you know in real life. Don’t accept any friend requests from people that you don’t know. Also keep in mind that just because your settings are private, that does not mean your posts will stay private. Once something is on the internet, it can be very easy for it to get into the wrong hands.
3. Remember to un-tag
Always remember that it isn’t just your own posts that could be seen by the other side. Any posts made by your friends that include you could also be used against you. Make sure that you monitor your feed and un-tag yourself in any photos posted by others.
Overall, social media can be a double-edged sword, but if you keep these things in mind, you can limit the impact that your posts will have on your personal injury claim.
The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Moustarah & Company does not guarantee that this information is accurate or up to date. As a result, should you require legal advice, please contact a lawyer.