Many Americans maintain friendships and social connections through Facebook. When a major life event happens, we may turn to Facebook to seek support and talk to those we care about. As a result, it’s not unusual for people who have suffered a personal injury to discuss what happened on Facebook.
Unfortunately, doing so can severely harm your chances of receiving the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Here’s how Facebook can harm your personal injury case:
- Insurance companies may use your posts against you.
Many insurance adjusters check a claimant’s social media posts to see what they’re up to after an injury. Even a simple post like “It’s been tough, but I’m feeling better today” may be used against you in negotiations to demonstrate that you don’t need the full settlement your medical bills and other losses indicate you do need.
- Privacy settings aren’t always private.
Facebook offers a wide range of privacy settings, including the ability to limit posts to your friends list only, to limit the posts certain friends can see, or to un-friend or “block” people altogether.
Unfortunately, these settings aren’t always enough. Even “friends-only” posts may be made into screenshots and shared or may leak in other ways – especially photographs, which can be difficult or impossible to keep private on Facebook. Relying on Facebook’s privacy settings may be insufficient to protect your posts from prying eyes.
- Facebook posts may be used against you in court.
Social media posts can be admitted in court – and they often are. Unlike other out of court statements by non-parties, a Facebook post made by a party to a personal injury lawsuit can often be admitted by the opposing party to contradict or discredit the party who made it. Your lawyer may be able to provide evidence to contradict the Facebook post, but your lawyer may not be able to keep it out of court entirely.
The best method for preventing these issues is to take a social media break during your personal injury lawsuit. Instead, keep in touch with a few trustworthy friends and family members through in-person or telephone conversations. It’s less efficient, but it can protect your legal interests.
When you’ve been injured, it can be difficult to foresee all the ways in which your case might be harmed. That’s why it is vital to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help you spot potential challenges and provide advice on how to meet and overcome them. Contact Calcagno & Associates today at (800) 722-0383 or via our online contact form for more information.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.