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The impact of social media on personal injury claims

It’s important to be mindful about all your social media activity during the claims process.

Social media platforms provide a window into our lives, offering a glimpse of our activities, journeys, and interactions. It’s a way to connect, share experiences, and express ourselves.

However, posting on social media can also have unexpected consequences if you are going through a personal injury claim. These consequences can impact the outcome of your personal injury case, so it’s important to be mindful about all your social media activity during the claims process.

After a traumatic personal injury, you may want to turn to social media for support and to share your experiences. If you are involved in a personal injury claim whether as the plaintiff or the defendant, any content that you share online can be used as evidence in court.

Insurance companies may gather evidence to oppose your claim. They may collect this evidence from your social media accounts.

Photos or videos that could be perceived as being contrary to your stated injuries, may undermine the legitimacy of your personal injury claim. Even unrelated posts can be misinterpreted. For example, a simple picture of you smiling on a night out with your friends could be used to argue that you are not experiencing the emotional distress that you claim to be experiencing as a result of the accident.

Consider your social media activity as public. Any person with access to your page can share or circulate anything that you post. The best way to eliminate the impact of social media on a personal injury claim is to limit your activity on these platforms during an active case.

Even if your social media page is set to private, courts can still gain access to your page. Privacy or friends only settings are not legal safeguards. The judge may issue a request for your social media content. In this case, your solicitor would usually try to negotiate how much of your profile is discoverable. For example, the defendants may request social media content for six months following an accident. Yet your solicitor may try to limit the use of social media to three months after the accident as evidence in the personal injury case.

Here are some tips to consider surrounding social media use whilst your personal injury case is open:

Think before you post online – before sharing anything online, consider how it could be perceived in the context of your personal injury claim.

Refrain from discussing your case online – try not to post or discuss any information or details about your case online. Even seemingly harmless comments or updates can affect the case’s integrity or be misinterpreted by the defendants.

Educate your friends and family – explain to your friends and family to be mindful regarding any posts involving you as it could be misinterpreted and impact your case.

Seek legal guidance – if you are unsure about what is appropriate to post online while pursuing a personal injury claim, speak with your solicitor. They can provide personalised advice based on the specifics of your case.