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Personal Injury

How Social Media Can Affect Personal Injury Claims

May 16, 2017

Incriminating social media posts often have an impact on court decisions, unbeknownst to the claimant at the time of posting. In a 2014 study, Pew Research Center found that 74 percent of adult internet users also used social media, a number that has since grown. Many of these individuals like to frequently share their thoughts or feelings about something that happened to them over Facebook and other social media outlets, which can also be the case following an injury in an accident. However, these posts can negatively affect personal injury claims if claimants aren’t careful.

How Social Media Can Be Evidence for the Defense

People filing personal injury claims seek compensation for damages associated with the injury such as medical expenses, along with noneconomic damages including physical and emotional pain resulting from the injury.

To receive compensation, the person injured must be able to support claims with medical experts, specialists, and witnesses. Even innocent Social media posts can seriously cause negative impressions of the serious nature of the injured person’s medical condition.

For example, someone could claim that they suffered from an injury so severe that it hindered activities they enjoyed, such as biking. On the contrary, the defense discovers a post from the user following the date of the incident that shows photographic evidence of a bike ride, showing that the injury didn’t hinder their physical activities. This can effectively convince the jury or Judge to decide that the claimant isn’t entitled to compensation based on the evidence.

Social Media as Evidence to Disprove Emotional Distress

Along with physical pain, many people involved in accidents often also suffer from emotional pain. Claimants may experience loss of enjoyment in life, depression, anxiety, and many other types of emotional distress. Social media posts can either support these claims or disprove them.

Defense teams are capable of viewing all public posts to determine if the claimant is displaying emotional distress, and will look for any type of evidence that suggests they’re exaggerating or plainly lying about their emotional condition. While all private messages require consent or warrants for third parties to access, everything posted publicly can be used against claimants.

The best way to avoid letting social media posts negatively impact personal injury claims is to just not post any Social media information about the facts of how the injury occurred or your medical condition. A reliable personal injury lawyer can also assist with claims and provide additional advice regarding social media.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or medical malpractice accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago accident and injury law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free case consultation, so that we can help you begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.