Sharing Your Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Others is a No-No
Social media and personal injury cases don’t mix well. Your cell phone can serve a purpose if you are in a car accident and need to document damage to a vehicle, but sharing information about an accident (or any area of your life) on social media just complicates a case. That’s why we recommend you cease to use any social media during a personal injury case.
Let me provide an example. A client of mine was injured severely in an accident. The injuries to his back made it impossible for him to work a full day as a mechanic, so we were seeking compensation for lost wages. While his doctor said he could not lift heavy objects or stand on his feet all day, he said that my client needed to walk as he recovered.
Photos Portray a Misleading Image
So, the man and his family hiked up the Multnomah Falls trail in the Columbia Gorge. At the top, he posted a photo of himself and his children on Facebook to share the victory. His insurance company found the photo on his Facebook account and came to court saying that my client was well enough to work.
We had to explain that it took my client over two and a half hours to do the short, paved hike and prove that his doctor had prescribed walking as recovery exercise. The issue was resolved in the end, but it wouldn’t have been a conversation if the photo had never been posted.
Ad for Side Jobs Contradicts Work Claim
That was not the only social media issue in this case, either. While the insurance company was reviewing my client’s social media accounts, it found another post to use for ammunition. The man was hoping to make some money on the side doing easy mechanic jobs over much longer periods of time. So, he posted to friends and family that he could do this work.
To the insurance company, it looked like my client was claiming he couldn’t work – while advertising for jobs. My client explained to me that anyone who took him up on this offer understood a 2-hour job might take three days. His son could help him lift heavy things if necessary after he came home from school and my client could work for short periods of time and then take a break.
Guidelines to Prevent Surveillance Video and Social Media from Damaging Your Case
A new method that insurers are using to try to undermine personal injury claims is using social media to distort or manipulate information about a claimant. Social media may make it seem to the insurer like you are exaggerating your claims. To prevent this from happening, follow these guidelines for how to use social media. Discuss your options with a Vancouver personal injury attorney today!
Contact Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer
Again, the problem was that these social media posts put us on the defensive and we had to prove that our claim (the client could not work full time as a mechanic) was valid. I’ll talk more about the court’s view of your “personal” information on social media in my next post. If you have specific questions and need to talk to a personal injury attorney – get off your Facebook and give me a call.