Social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are a great way to connect with friends, but they are not the place to share injuries or trauma. When fighting a case, social media pages are one of the first places the opposition will look in order to refute a personal injury claim. For example, a victim claims an injury that inhibits physical activity and shortly after the accident a photo is uploaded to Facebook of the victim hiking or walking a dog. Regardless of the date of when the photo was taken, even if prior to an injury, the judge or jury can still order the injury victim receive no compensation.
A scene that pictures this occurrence in a humorous light can be found in the recently canceled NBC show Parks and Recreation. Tom Haverford, an audience favorite, attempts to dispute an accident claim. The attorneys quickly pull up Haverford’s live tweets from the incident. This action quickly discredits his claims. See the clip linked below for the full scene:
More often than not, personal injury victims not only suffer from physical trauma but also emotional trauma. The latter can lead to depression and a loss of interest, therefore leading to the abolishment of social media use. Continuation of social media use can disprove emotional trauma while in court. Social media can be used against a plaintiff in court, even though social media is bias in showcasing the positive aspects of one’s lifestyle. Anything that is on the internet and public can be brought up in a court of law unless the parties stipulate otherwise, save for private messages. “Posting anything online after an accident may be dangerous to your claim, even if you think that what you are posting is harmless or is in no way related to your injury.” Seize posting photos and updating social media platforms after a personal injury, and always set accounts to private. Don’t be Tom Haverford.
Quote derived from Stephanie R. Caudle, Huffington Post.
co-written by Brian Dault and Elise Childers for DaultLaw