Social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is a place where people share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with friends and family. However, if you’re in the middle of a personal injury claim, it is important to be mindful of the impact your social media activity can have on your claim. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
Social Media is Public Record
The information you post on social media is public; you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to posts you put out in the world for all to see. What many people don’t know is that even if your social media accounts are set to private, they still may be used against you. The New York Court of Appeals has stated that even social media posts that are deemed “private” by a social media user can be discoverable if the posts are relevant to the subject of the litigation. What may be relevant can include a variety of different posts, even things posted before the accident that caused the injury.
Social Media Can Impact Your Claim of Physical Injury
When you’re seeking compensation for personal injury, it is the job of the defense to discredit you and minimize your injuries. Insurance companies will comb through your social media accounts looking for photos or posts that they can argue contradict your claim that you’ve been seriously injured.
Social Media Can Impact Your Claim of Emotional Distress
When you’ve been injured, there may be a claim for emotional distress. You may experience depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and loss of enjoyment of life. When people post on social media, they’re usually trying to put their best foot forward. You post pictures of fun times with family and friends. Even pictures of your pets could be interpreted as a demonstration that you are, in fact, enjoying life despite your injury. Defense attorneys will take any “positive” posts and attempt to use them to prove that you are not suffering.
How to Approach Social Media During a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure your social media life doesn’t affect your personal injury claim.
- Stop all social media activity as soon as you’re involved in an accident.
- Consider shutting down your social media accounts.
- If you insist on keeping your social media accounts open, make sure to set all of them to the highest privacy setting.
- Don’t add any new social media accounts.
- Don’t accept any new friend or follower requests.
- Make your attorney aware of your social media accounts.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers get compensation for their injuries. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule a free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla Español.