Social Media & Personal Injury Lawsuits…Be Very Careful What You Post!
Imagine this…You’re badly hurt in a car accident, workplace accident or you suffer personal injuries at an unprotected construction site. You lose time, and more importantly pay, from your work. The bills are mounting and you and your young family are hurting as you try to get by. You’re doing everything the doctors ask, but you’re slow to recover.
Your lawyer is working hard to convince the insurance company of the other parties fault. Scene investigation photos are enlarged for use at trial. Countless dollars have been expended for medical records which doctors carefully review for the background testimony that they will give at trial. Countless hours are spent by legal teams analyzing insurance policies in the hope of a proper and just recovery. Experts are preparing for the day they will testify. As the time draws near you hope for a good settlement and, if not, a successful trial. You think you see the light at the end of the tunnel…or is it a train coming in the opposite direction!
Beware of SOCIAL MEDIA and what you have posted on the various sites you belong to. Whether it is Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other sites, remember this…if its posted it is discoverable by anyone at anytime. It is absolutely something that the defense attorney and their insurance company are checking out in your case. They want to see what you are saying to your family and friends so that they can compare it to what you’ve said about yourself in your case. Improper posts may very well be used against you.
Did you testify at a depostion that you can’t dance or wear high heels? How about those wedding pictures that you posted from your sister’s wedding this past summer! Do you maintain that your personal injuries are so permanent that you can’t travel? How about the stories you posted from your vacation in Barbados! Confined to a bed or to home for a period of time? Okay, so what do those pictures of you and your friends at the Super Bowl say as you are whooping it up and chugging beer with some girls that you just met on Bourbon Street?
I am not advocating false testifying or untruthful statements. I do know however, that while a picture is worth a thousand words, one snap-shot in time doesn’t tell the whole story. A photo of you mowing your lawn, fixing your car or cleaning out the garage says nothing of how you needed 2 or 3 days of bed rest to recover. Stupid and boastful statements on social media sites may be impressive to friends but they also may be a false representation of how things really are for you. Protect yourself from your own stupidity. Do you really want to be the girl who is talking about her “big lawsuit pay day” on Facebook when all that she really wants to do is pay her mounting medical bills and get her life back.
As long as you put yourself “out there” for the entire world to see make sure that what is seen is ACCURATE. Don’t let others get the wrong impression of you by virtue of your own social media posts. Who wants to see? Well, it’s not just confined to defense attorneys and insurance companies in personal injury cases. How about prosepctive employers, co-workers, prospective clients or college admission offices where you or your kid has applied to school?
Post only the things that you would not be embarrassed to have your parents or children see. If you are maintaining a lawsuit or legal claim make sure that what social networking sites portray about you is accurate…it could comeback to haunt you.