Can Social Media Impact Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you have a personal injury or medical malpractice case (or, if one day you might have one), your social media postings and online activity could unravel even the strongest claim. It is now a frequent occurrence for an injury victim’s posts or social media activity to negatively impact their lawsuit. Nearly every personal injury lawyer has experienced how a client’s online postings can wreak havoc on a case. Victims who claim their injuries prevent them from doing certain activities are now being confronted with the posted images showing them participating in the very events they claim to be unable to do. There are even instances where a victim claims to be housebound and that person is later shown to be checking in or posting reviews of restaurants or bars.

As online activity and social media usage continue to increase, especially among millennials, the impact on lawsuits is sure to keep trending upward. Although somewhat dated, a 2010 survey by the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers (AAML) reports that two-thirds of American lawyers say Facebook is the primary source of evidence used in divorce cases. The effects on personal injury and malpractice cases are similar. If an injured person is claiming that a car accident or medical incident caused them injuries that prevent the person from participating in certain activities or that physical scarring makes that person unable to wear certain clothes, the first thing a defense lawyer does is to search online for any image or post showing the opposite.

Based on our firm’s extensive experience in modern personal injury cases, we offer the following tips for social media usage:

  • Before hitting the “POST” button, think about what you are saying or whether you are doing something that’s ill-advised, or whether the post can make you look bad at some point in the future. Also, think about what your post will look like years later if you are on the witness stand.
  • Don’t exaggerate your injuries or make claims in a lawsuit that can be proven false.
  • When in doubt, don’t post anything! Think about it – are a few likes, re-tweets, or comments worth sinking your injury case?
  • Beware of tagging – even though you are not posting the content, your actions and image can be captured by someone else’s post. Elevate your privacy settings and receive notifications if anyone tags you. And, if you are tagged, ask to be untagged. Further, be aware that simply de-tagging you from a post won’t remove the content, and it still may be visible to others. Images and activity on the internet can last forever.

At Decof, Decof & Barry, P.C., we recommend that anyone using social media think twice about what you are saying, doing, or even liking.  Some defense lawyer down the road could use any check-in, any picture, or any post against you at a deposition or in court. And, by that time, it’s already too late to do damage control.

Video Profile

Decof, Decof & Barry

Schedule a Free Consultation

We work for clients on a contingency fee arrangement, which means you pay no legal fee or costs unless we obtain a verdict or settlement for you.

Firm News and Events
Decof, Decof & Barry Recognized among Best Law Firms by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®
Read More
Attorneys of Rhode Island Law Firm Decof, Decof & Barry Named Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
Read More
Michael P. Quinn, Jr. Wins Record Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case in Rhode Island
Read More
From our Blog
How to File a Premises Liability Claim for an Office Accident

January 9, 2018

With the average working American spending up to 40 or more hours at their place of employment each week, it should come as no surprise that workplace accidents occur frequently. Sometimes accidents are just that, accidents. Other times, those accidents are the result of the negligence of your employer or third parties. In whatever the…

Read More

Holiday Travel: What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Claims

December 26, 2017

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. North, south, east and west. During the holidays, Americans travel by many different methods in various directions. Unfortunately, problems – big and small – can follow.  From pedestrian collisions at the airport to falls at...

Read More

Can Social Media Impact Your Personal Injury Claim?

November 21, 2017

If you have a personal injury or medical malpractice case (or, if one day you might have one), your social media postings and online activity could unravel even the strongest claim. It is now a frequent occurrence for an injury victim’s posts or social media activity to negatively impact their lawsuit. Nearly every personal injury lawyer…

Read More

Contact form