Do you use social media sites or apps? Chances are, if you are reading this blog post, you have at least one social media account. According to Pew Research Center in 2014, nearly 75 percent of all Internet users use social media, a number that has likely grown in recent years. And while social media is a useful tool for keeping up with friends and family, connecting with like-minded people online or seeking meaningful employment, it also has a dark side. Social media use can backfire in spectacular ways, including when you are pursuing a personal injury claim against a negligent party.
When someone files a personal injury claim against another party, that party will do everything in its power to minimize the amount of damages it is liable for. That means they will seek out every bit of information they can on the claimant, and increasingly, social media is the easiest place to find that information. People are often unaware of just how much they are revealing about themselves by posting online. How can this hurt an injury victim seeking damages for their pain? Here’s an example.
Jennifer is driving through Middlesex County one afternoon when she is involved in a three-car accident caused by a distracted driver. She suffers injuries to her legs and hips. In her injury claim, she says that her injuries are preventing her from engaging in her favorite hobby, dancing. Yet, a short time after filing her claim, images surface online of her pirouetting at the studio, seemingly uninjured. A judge rules against her claim, pointing out that she had misrepresented the severity of her injuries (this example is based on a true story).
Do yourself a favor if you are involved in a personal injury claim, or any other kind of legal claim: stay away from social media. You never know how one of your posts can affect your case.