Will Facebook hurt my NC personal injury/car accident/worker’s compensation case? The simple answer is yes - your activity on Facebook or any other social media site such as Instagram, Twitter, and even SnapChat can hurt your case. Defense attorneys are looking for any information they can gather from you to use against you in court. The easiest way for them to gather this information is from you and what you hold out to the public on social media.
How do I protect my NC personal injury/car accident/worker’s compensation case?
The best way to protect your privacy and your case is to suspend your social media accounts until your case has settled. If you are unwilling to do this, make sure your settings are on the highest privacy level. You should be advised, however, that defense attorneys can get access to your social media postings through discovery as part of litigation.
Make sure you do not post things that could damage your case. If you are claiming you are disabled, but have posted a picture that makes you look able-bodied, even if you are only doing something for a second, the defense attorney or insurance company will use this against you during negotiations, litigation and at trial, and this will make your claim less valuable. In the worst-case scenario, an unsympathetic jury will think you are lying completely about your injuries, and they will not award you any money.
Avoid Sharing Party Photos or Affiliations
It is also not a good idea to post things that make you look like a partier or things that show political or religious affiliation. All these things can make you a less sympathetic personal injury victim to some jurors. Also make sure your friends and family do not post unfavorable pictures or information about you on their pages or to your page.
If you had a concussion as a result of your car accident or other personal injury claim and you are claiming you are having dizziness and cannot read, you obviously should not be using Facebook, because it is in contravention of your medical advice on how to treat your concussion. You can’t claim you can’t read if you are capable of writing.
Even though SnapChat pictures disappear after a few seconds, there are ways to save these pictures if you are tech-savvy enough or the recipient of your picture is tech-savvy. If you post something on Facebook or other social media site that is completely unrelated to your accident and then misremember it in a deposition, a clever defense attorney will get you to answer questions that will make you look like you are lying and use this to impeach your character, and this will undermine your whole case.
Avoid New Friends
Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know, because the request could come from someone working for the defendant. Do not let your interest in sharing your pictures or personal information diminish the value of your claim. Protect yourself by removing your accounts or suspending them only while your case is pending.
The Bishop Law Firm has attorneys who have worked as defense attorneys for personal injury cases and car accident cases and they can advise you on how to protect your NC personal injury/car accident/worker’s compensation case. If you would like an evaluation by a NC personal injury lawyer with experience helping both plaintiffs and defendants, call The Bishop Law Firm at (919) 615-3095. We represent Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury clients in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids and surrounding areas in North Carolina.