If you are reading this, you are using social media; duh, right? Well Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all social media play an important role in personal injury and medical negligence cases these days. Frequently, a person claiming injuries from an accident or malpractice event is challenged by postings or pictures of their own or their friends’ social media sites. It normally occurs as follows:
The Plaintiff/Client has been injured in an accident and claims injuries that negatively impact their life, that…cause physical impairments and emotional suffering. We see the reality of these claims every day. However, and fairly often, those same clients will post pictures of themselves depicting them as happy or engaging in activities that suggest the claims of impairment or emotional impact are being overstated. Consequently, the defense attorney or the insurance company point to these postings as “proof” the client’s injuries or claims aren’t real.
OK, so how important is this? Let’s face it, people don’t post “pain pictures” or sad faces and rarely is social media used to report how bad someone is feeling. Rather, most people only post when there is something positive or political to say. To a great extent we use Facebook to put on a good “face” or to express opinions.
However, a word of advice; if you are injured in an accident and are suffering as a result, we strongly caution you to use social media in a way that may lead to confusing positions or situations. Indeed, if you are in chronic pain, you are wise not to use social media to post things, statements or pictures that tend to show you are in no distress. Regardless of the fact people can still smile and go to nice places even when hurt and hurting, it’s a new world in personal injury law and social media is constantly being used as a weapon, rightly or wrongly, by insurance companies trying to avoid paying compensation for injuries…real injuries, injuries that truly do impair one’s life. The smart way to deal with this is to talk to your lawyer and make sure that if you are going to engage social media, know the potential consequences.
Be smart, be safe, be well and always, be honest.