From Facebook to TikTok, it seems like everyone is on some kind of social media platform sharing their daily experiences and thoughts. While there are many benefits to doing so, like connecting with old friends or communicating with a brand's customer service, there are also many downsides. One of these is where a personal injury case is concerned. In some ways, sharing information about your injury on social media could negatively impact your case. Read on to learn why.
How Social Media Negatively Impacts Injury Cases
If you've been injured and are looking to file a claim, one of the first things your lawyer will tell you is to be careful about what you say online. This is because anything you post—whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other platform—can be used against you in court. Not only that but what other people are posting about you and your case can be equally as damaging.
North Carolina allows for social media posts to be used in both criminal and civil cases. This means that if you were in a car accident, for example, any photos of damages or explanations of the incident shared online may be seen as a written statement. Furthermore, if you are filing an injury claim saying that you have severe damages yet are posting about doing certain activities, it may be misrepresented.
What Can Be Used Against Me?
When looking at what you've posted on social media, there are a few key things that can be used against you:
- Photos or videos: These may show that your injuries aren't as severe as you claim. For example, if you say you can't walk but post a video of yourself going for a run, it doesn't look good.
- Status updates or written posts: These can be taken out of context and used against you. If you make a joke about your accident or reply to someone saying you’re fine, it can be used to say that you aren't actually injured.
- Check-ins: If you check in at a bar or party after your accident, it could potentially cause damage. Alternatively, if you check in at a bar prior to your accident, that may also be twisted to show you may have been under the influence.
- Private messages: Even if your account is set to private, anything you say can be subpoenaed and used against you.
- Your tagged posts: Being tagged by a friend in a photo or post that discusses the case could also negatively reflect on you.
What You Should Do Instead
If you've been injured and are looking to file a claim, the best thing to do is stay off of social media altogether. This includes refraining from posting anything about the accident, your injuries, or the case itself. Additionally, you should avoid commenting on anything related to the accident or case—and encourage your family members to do the same—as this could also be used against you.
There may be some instances where you must be on social media (like if it's part of your job); if this is the case, it's essential to discuss with your personal injury attorney about what they advise is best to post or not post until your case is completed.
North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys
When you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence, the last thing you want to do is put your claim in jeopardy. Our Asheville attorneys can help you through this process every step of the way and let you know what is and isn’t safe to post. Schedule a free consultation with our team today by calling (828) 383-8414 or filling out this short form.