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Be Careful with Social Media in a Personal Injury Case

The number of people using social media increases every day. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or some other new and popular social media vehicle, in this age of technology everyone wants to be connected. While there are many positives to being connected and staying in tune with what’s happening in the daily lives of those who matter to us, unfortunately for someone who is involved in a personal injury case social media more times than not can have detrimental effect on the outcome of the case.
If you’ve brought a claim because of a car accident or other type of personal injury, you can bet your bottom dollar that the insurance company and defense attorney defending your claim have thoroughly searched social media, and the wealth of information it contains, in an effort to torpedo your case. In addition to damages for physical pain and suffering, Florida law also provides for the recovery of damages for emotional distress, mental anguish and the loss of capacity to enjoy life. Insurance companies and defense attorneys routinely search social media for any evidence that suggests otherwise.

For example, a picture or video of an injured person smiling and having fun will be used by the insurance company and defense attorney to show that the person is not as injured as they claim to be and enjoying life with no problem at all. Similarly, comments to social media by the injured person, their family or friends that they had a great time at an event or enjoyed some type of outing will be used to show that the injury is not as bad as the person is claiming.

Unfortunately, in some cases people are simply trying to cheat the system. They may claim that their injury has prevented them from participating in certain types of physical activity altogether, running for example, yet pictures or video from social media show them running down the beach chasing a frisbee. Clearly these type of people deserve to have their case torpedoed. But for others who are trying to move on with their lives after a major or even catastrophic injury, a picture of them smiling or having fun will be turned around and used against them. No, it’s not fair, but it is one of the weapons in the arsenals of insurance companies and defense attorneys.
The best rule of thumb for someone involved in a personal injury claim is to refrain from social media period. It is advice that is difficult for many to follow. Regardless, always remember that someone is watching.

Phillips Law Firm has extensive experience in cases involving bodily injury or death caused by someone else’s negligence. Please contact us for a free consultation about your case.