Social Media Advice from a Personal Injury Attorney

a group of people using smartphones to textAccording to a Pew Research report regarding the internet and social media trends in 2016, 79 percent of Americans who utilize the internet are active social media users. This number is higher than it was the previous year, and it is likely that social media use will continue to rise. Social media is a great tool to maintain a social relationship, to organize causes, and to connect with people from all over the world. Regardless, a personal injury attorney will be the first to tell you that social media can also be detrimental in an injury claim. If you’re facing a legal issue, The Aranda Law Firm is ready to help.

Claimant vs Defendant

There are several reasons someone might pursue a personal injury claim, but the most common reason is to receive financial compensation. A victim of physical injury may seek compensation for medical expenses. Someone who has experienced emotional duress as a result of a personal injury can also request compensation for damages. The victim substantiates these claims by providing evidence of pain and suffering.

The defendant, however, will work to prove that the damages are not as severe as the victim claims. And with the popularity of social media use, defendants can now turn to a claimant’s Facebook page to gather evidence against them.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Photographic evidence is powerful. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a common phrase that many people know. In a personal injury case, however, a picture could be worth thousands of dollars. Most people don’t think twice about posting a photo of a beautiful hike or selfie smiling with friends. These pictures, though, can suggest that physical and emotional injuries were not detrimental. Defendants may consider pictures, comments, and even blog posts to demonstrate that a claimant does not require compensation. This is the case in both physical injury claims and emotional injury claims.

Privacy and Public Record

You may be wondering if it is legal for social media posts to be used as a public record. The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Anything that you post on the internet – and anything others post about you – can be used as evidence against you. This does not include private messages, but those can be obtained with a warrant.

Advice from a Personal Injury Attorney

Experienced personal injury attorneys understand how large a role social media can play in personal injury cases. Because of this, we recommend that you temporarily deactivate your social media accounts. If you don’t wish to do this, you may also be able to get by with setting your account to private. This will prevent hiccups in your case. It will help your personal injury attorney to safeguard your claim so that you end up with the best possible results. If you have more questions about social media use and your specific claim, contact the Aranda Law Firm today.