The use of social media has skyrocketed over the last few decades and it has formed an inexorable association with our personal lives. According to Pew Research Center, 74 % of adults using the internet also made extensive and frequent visits to social media sites. As social media is a platform which enables people to express and share their feelings, thoughts, photos and experiences, it can also be a way to hurt a person’s case if they have been injured in an accident. In my practice, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the past 5 years, where insurance companies and their attorneys are now gaining access to a claimant’s social media posts to try and use against them in their injury case.
Personal injury case and the use of social media
An injured party is usually seeking compensation for medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, among other types of damages that may be available. To substantiate these damages, a person may need the help of their medical providers, medical experts, and family and friends, to help prove their injuries. An insurance company attorney has the opposite job, which is to underplay the claimant’s evidence. Social media profiles and posts could be a way of accomplishing that.
Take an example of a claimant who is pursuing damages for loss of mobility, chronic pain and an inability to fully enjoy various physical activities like hiking. An insurance company adjuster or attorney may scour through his or her social media pages and stumble upon photo evidence suggesting the contrary. They may find that the person was never a hiker prior to the injury, or they may find photos depicting him or her enjoying a nice hike and smiling while doing so. If a claimant has made it clear that hiking was something they can no longer do, than a major issue arises. Even if they claim that they can hike but it is difficult to do so since the accident, one photo could convince an adjuster offering money or a jury who decides the outcome of a case, to think twice.
The law regarding the admissibility of social media pages and posts can often vary from county to county in Florida. Especially since it is still a relatively new and quickly growing area for attorneys to deal with. Some judges may allow a defense attorney for an insurance company to have access to a large portion of a claimant’s social media pages or require them to provide all of their posted photos for a certain time period. Other judges are saying that it is too invasive, harassing, and can be a fishing expedition.
If you are in the middle of a personal injury case remember these tips:
- Be mindful of what you post. Even if it is innocent, it could come off the wrong way to an insurance company and their lawyer defending the case.
- Keep your social media page settings private.
- Do not delete any posts that you later regret or may think would harm your case.
If you have been injured in an accident, and are an active and avid social media user, you may want to think about what you post
Call a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Now!
You may be able to take legal action if you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident, such as a slip and fall, car accident and accident at work or any other where you have been seriously injured. Contact the law offices of Shannon J Sagan to speak about your case. We can guide and help you secure maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages.
Call us at 1-800-FLA-LAWYER or contact us online for a free appointment.