Are you a frequent user of social media? If you are reading this blog, the chances are, yes. After all, a 2014 study by Pew Research Center found that nearly three-quarters of Internet users were active on social media, and that number has only increased since. Social media is a powerful and valuable tool, helping people stay connected with friends and family while also connecting them to new people. But what you post on social media can come back to haunt you – including when you are pursuing a personal injury claim.
When you file a personal injury claim against a negligent party, that party is going to do everything in its power to limit the amount of damages it is liable for. That means that party’s attorney is going to scrutinize every aspect of the accident that caused your injury as well as every aspect of you, the victim. And social media is a veritable treasure trove of information that the opposing attorney will most certainly look into to disprove or cast doubt on your claim. Here’s an example of how that might happen.
Gregory is leaving the UT campus in his car when he is struck by a distracted driver at Guad and MLK. The accident leaves him with leg injuries that he claims make him unable to get to work or to engage in his favorite hobbies. But after he files his injury claim, the distracted driver’s attorney accesses Gregory’s Facebook page and finds photos of a recent flag football game, with Gregory playing the position of running back (Gregory’s team wins the game, by the way.)
The distracted driver’s attorney is able to call into question the true severity of Gregory’s injuries because the photos show that Gregory was able to use his legs well enough to play a rigorous game. This endangers his ability to collect damages for his injuries.
Do yourself a favor if you are involved in an injury claim. Don’t post about it online.