If you have recently suffered from a personal injury and you’re looking to claim compensation, your online behaviour on social media could have an impact on the outcome of your claim. Read on to learn more about social media and personal injury claims — and how our personal injury lawyers can help.
- What is a personal injury?
- How can social media affect my personal injury claim?
- Social media and personal injury claims: What not to post online
What is a personal injury?
There are many ways in which a personal injury can happen, including motor vehicle accidents, environmental accidents, work related accidents and various forms of negligence. With each of these incidents or injuries, the claimant is alleging some form of physical injury, emotional disability, inability to perform their intended job, loss of daily living capabilities, and a host of other types of losses that affect their ability to live their lives as they did prior to the accident at hand.
As a result, the injured party makes a personal injury claim against the alleged perpetrator in an attempt to assign blame for their losses. The injured party is looking to collect damages to assist in returning them to their normal self. However, these claims can be harmed or easily dismissed based upon evidence that the alleged injury is not truly causing the claimed disability or loss of functioning.
How can social media affect my personal injury claim?
Such evidence can be garnered by insurance companies and defence attorneys by scouring Twitter accounts, Instagram postings and Facebook pages. If you have a pending personal injury claim, it is imperative that you do not post any information that will potentially dismiss your claim. We recommend you avoid posting the following content:
- Any participation in an activity that directly disputes your claimed level of physical loss
- An activity that would clearly dispute your level of perceived pain
- Pictures or statements pertaining to your activities of daily living activities that directly dispute your claim
- References to the locations you will be frequenting
- Admitting liability to anyone, even oin social media postsaccounts that you believe can only be accessed by family and friends and family
- Videos of you participating in sporting events or other strenuous activities
- Sharing any information regarding your attorney’s advice, strategies or legal positions
Can social media posts be shown in court?
Yes, they can. According to The Supreme Court of Tasmania, social media posts can be used by the defence to testify the credibility of your claim. Only if they prove the injuries are not as severe as they were claimed to be.
Social media and personal injury claims: What to avoid posting online
1. Pictures and videos
Whenever evidence such as pictures and videos is distributed via social media, the information is easily gathered by those looking to defend against your claim or dispute your injuries. Any form of pictures or video showing a lesser degree of injury, is almost impossible to refute. In addition, be cautious of posting such activities with the intent to take it down after a short period of time. In this age of advanced technology, no posted media is ever truly gone.
With regard to posting your current or intended locations, again, we advise against disseminating such information. This type of information makes it easy for a private investigator to follow you, or wait for you, at a particular location. By being able to easily track your whereabouts and activities, an investigator can testify to firsthand knowledge of your activities and capture you on video. Such statements and video can be readily introduced into evidence and severely impact your personal injury claim.
3. Writing statements about your claim
Great care should be taken when putting information about your claim in writing on social media. These statements can be construed as statements against your own interests and easily be admitted into evidence.
4. Information about your relationship with your attorney
Finally, it is imperative that you do not disclose any information pertaining to your relationship with your attorney. All communication between yourself and your attorney should remain completely confidential. You should never disclose over social media your attorney’s intended strategies for your case, the advice they have given you, or their legal positions.
Something else to note about social media and personal injury claims is that, even if your case doesn’t get dismissed as a result of sharing online, it is possible that your damages could be significantly reduced. Damages are based on a loss of capacity and if your social media postings show that you have not suffered the loss you claim,; your compensation will be impeded.
Speak to Owen Hodge Lawyers
If you are involved in a personal injury compensation claim, it is imperative you speak with your attorney regarding what is advisable to post on any form of social media. It is highly likely you will be told that it is unsafe and unwise to post any information that discusses or pictures your current physical state that could, in any way, be construed against your case.
At Owen Hodge Lawyers, our highly skilled team of lawyers is here to give you the best legal advice when dealing with social media and personal injury claims. If you have any questions about this blog or want to learn more about personal injury lawyer costs or personal injury claim time limits, please contact Owen Hodge Lawyers on 1800 770 780 or email us at [email protected].