It can be tempting to share your experience in the moment with friends and family through social. But you’re also sharing it with the world. And when it comes to an injury claim, no one likes your posts more than the insurance company’s defense lawyers, even if you don’t think your photo or video contradicts your claim of being injured.
(TL;DR – Don’t post anything on social at all until your claim is settled.)
Personal injury is your personal business.
Have you posted anything about your crash or injury. Hopefuly the answer is no. There really is just no reason for you to post that type of personal business. Anything you post on social merely gives the defense opportunities to throw doubt on your story. Consider this: Depending on the size of the settlement at stake, the insurance company may have surveillance on you. Your social media account just makes their job that much easier.
A tweet can place doubt on your character, no matter the character count. The defense can use a picture you posted to say a thousand words about your mood, the extent of the damage and other contextual clues around the accident that could be used against your case.
Posting after the accident
This advice may seem obvious to you, but remember, it’s not limited to posting about the accident or your hospital stay or recovery. If you get injured, you should always consider what a jury would think. If a jury was weighing how severely you’re hurt, and they see a post of yours – a photo, a video, a tweet — would they believe your injuries are as severe as you claim?
For example, it’s not a good look if you hurt your back, and you go out to a bar and post pictures of the bull riding contest you did, wearing five inch stilettos — which we’ve had a client do. Or going out on a jetski with a back injury or running a 5k race with a spine injury. Going on a roller coaster. Even a photo where you turn your neck or shoulder could derail your case. Almost anything you post could be used to help the defense.
Your social account can be used against you
The insurance company has a legal right to order you to turn over your social media history over a reasonable timeframe before and after the accident. So those seemingly innocent posts will get put under a microscope and you’re going to have to explain away everything.
The prudent thing to do is to carefully choose what you do and don’t post after an accident if you’re truly injured.
Is anything private?
Even if your social media account is private, you could be forced to provide content you posted before and after the accident. Now, they can’t ask for your private messages, chats, or personal emails for that matter. But they can ask for anything you emailed from a work email account because it is essentially owned by the employer, not you. And if your case involves your employer because it happened on the job site or with a company car, then that can be even more problematic.
But I can explain….
You may have an explanation for all of it. After all, just because you have an injury – even a severe one – doesn’t mean that you shut out all the fun things your friends are doing. And that TikTok dance or jet ski ride or other moment in time may have hurt so bad after you did it, but a clever insurance defense lawyer is only going to spin the story they want to tell. Even if it isn’t really how it went down. When you post on social media, it comes down to whether your explanation holds water with a jury.
So be careful what you post. It can and will be used against you.