Social Media & Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
More and more people are sharing intimate details of their lives on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Social media is a great way to catch up with distant family members and long-lost friends.
However, social media accounts can sometimes land our clients in hot water during their personal injury lawsuits. Unless they set their account to private, anyone—including insurance companies—can find out critical information to use against us.
At Bundza & Rodriguez, we pride ourselves on helping clients maximize their compensation after a car accident, slip and fall, or dog bite case. But we need to make sure that clients don’t do anything to hamstring their case.
How Can Social Media Hurt Your Case?
Let’s say you slipped and fell in a pharmacy, injuring your shoulder and suffering a concussion. To receive compensation, you need to prove that the pharmacy did not exercise sufficient care to make their property safe. You also need to show that you suffered damages.
This is where social media comes in. You might post something innocent like, “I never saw that the floor was wet!” which could be interpreted as you being careless yourself, which would reduce the amount of money you could receive. Under Florida law, a defendant can minimize their liability by arguing that a client’s own negligence contributed to the accident.
You also might post a picture of yourself outside enjoying a cookout soon after the accident. Sure, the picture is innocent, and you might be in a lot of pain when the picture was taken. But the defendant could still use it to argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claim, so you warrant less compensation.
Will Defendants Really Comb through Your Social Media Accounts?
Yes. And we know this because insurance companies have said they hire investigators to look for information to use against people making injury claims. Private investigators have been known to use the simple fact that an injury claimant travelled to a different state as evidence that their injuries are exaggerated.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are some simple steps that we advise clients with social media accounts to take. If you follow them, you can significantly reduce the chances of handing the other side any information to use against you:
- Set your profiles to private. This means only your friends will be able to see what you have posted in the past.
- Never post anything about your injuries or the accident—even if your account is private. Some courts are allowing defendants to data mine your devices and social media accounts for information—a disturbing trend that means anything you’ve ever written about your accident or injuries could get discovered.
- Ask family and friends not to post about you. They shouldn’t tag you in their photos or start talking about what a fun time they had with you.
- Don’t accept any new friend request. Who knows, this could be a paralegal or an investigator for the other side.
Protecting Our Clients’ Interest
By hiring Bundza & Rodriguez, we will ensure that you make no mistakes that end up costing you money. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Daytona Beach have represented hundreds of clients, and we can handle your case from start to finish. For more information, call 386-252-5170 for a free consultation.