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13 Jun

The Influence of Social Media on Personal Injury Cases

In the digital world, social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow us to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues, share personal experiences, and opinions.

SEO expert Brian Dean from Backlinko states, "The current percentage of people using social media is 56.8% of the world's total population." That's more than half of the population, and it shows that people in your surrounding area are most likely able to see what you post depending on your privacy setting. However, these social media platforms can also substantially impact legal proceedings, especially in the realm of personal injury cases.

While social media can be an excellent tool for communication, it can also become a double-edged sword in legal matters. This article will explore how your online presence can influence the outcome of your personal injury case.

The Digital Footprint and Legal Implications

Most people don't realize that everything they post on social media can leave a digital footprint. This information is available to your network and can be retrieved by legal professionals, including the opposing party in a personal injury case. Even if your accounts are set to private, the court can grant access to your content if it's deemed potentially relevant to the case.

How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case

In personal injury cases, employees often seek compensation for physical injuries, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. According to Forbes, "Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to use communications garnered from social media sites as evidence.” Anything that contradicts your personal injury claims on your social media platforms can be used against you.

Proof of Physical Activity: If you're claiming severe physical injuries but your recent social media posts show you engaged in physically demanding activities, like hiking, biking, or dancing, these posts could be used to discredit your claims.

Evidence of Emotional State: A claim for emotional distress can be undermined by posts indicating a cheerful mood, enjoyment of social activities, or any behavior inconsistent with your claim.

Timestamps and Locations: Social media platforms often record timestamps and locations, which could contradict the timeline or location details of the incident.

Comments and Conversations: Even offhand remarks or private messages can be used against you. For example, apologizing or making self-deprecating jokes about the accident could be interpreted as admitting fault.

Best Practices To Do During a Personal Injury Case

Considering the potential impact of social media on your personal injury case, it is crucial to follow certain best practices and avoid any evidence that may be used against you.

Limit Your Activity: Limiting your social media activity during an ongoing case is the safest approach. According to The Yale Tribune, "Social media profiles are definitely used as a source of information during court hearings. But there is the risk of destruction of evidence." Decreasing social media usage increases the likelihood of your privacy being portrayed.

Avoid Discussing the Case: Never discuss your case, injuries, or treatment on social media because everything that is posted exists forever — even the posts you delete. And, the most innocent comment could be taken out of context and be used against you.

Check Your Privacy Settings: Make sure all of your social media accounts are set to private, but remember that this does not guarantee complete privacy.

Think Before You Post: Always consider a post's potential impact on the situation or person. If you're unsure, it's always better not to post it.

Consult Your Attorney: When in doubt, consult your attorney. They can guide what you can and cannot share on social media during your case.

Social media is a powerful tool for communication and self-expression, but it can also have unintended consequences regarding personal injury cases. Being aware of these implications and taking preventative steps can help protect your legal reputation. Don't hesitate to seek legal advice if you've been injured on the job or due to someone else's negligence. Book a free consultation today by calling 352-371-4000 or emailing