Ep 14 – Social Media and Trial
“How can my social media posting impact the trial of my claim? Isn’t what I post private?”
I’m Katelyn Holub, a personal injury attorney practicing law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today we’ll take a look at the topic of using social media while you have a pending personal injury case.
We live in an era in which millions of people are involved in online social networking and posting on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It seems like almost every week we’re hearing about data breaches, privacy violations, and algorithmic manipulation affecting masses of people.
In addition to all of those concerning discoveries, we want to take a moment in this episode to reflect on the way social networking has influenced trial techniques and practices. Your social media posts, and those you are tagged in, can have a direct impact on the value of your case and have the ability to undermine your credibility to a jury, if the posts are inconsistent with the injuries and complaints you are making.
You are probably familiar with the concept of surveillance and how for years, insurance companies have utilized video surveillance to try to show that a person is lying about the severity of his or her injuries. You know, the situation in which someone complaining that their back pain is so severe that they can’t work or do basic daily activities such as doing laundry is caught on tape dancing the night away at a friend’s wedding.
Well, take the same surveillance tactics that have been used in litigation for years and apply it to the world of social media. New look, same tactic. Now, instead of hiring someone to follow you with a video camera to conduct surveillance, many insurance companies are performing all kinds of web searches on various social media platforms about you. They examine your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and profiles to see if there are any inconsistencies with your claimed injuries.
Although we find that our clients would never be involved in anything that is inconsistent with their injuries, it’s important to just keep in mind that defendants and insurance companies look at all your social media pages and accounts.
It’s our suggestion that during the time that you are recovering from any kind of injury incident, you refrain from posting anything about the incident or your injuries. Even suspending your use of social media accounts in general is a good idea while your case is pending, and even beforehand when there is a prospect of a claim.
While you are recovering from an injury, we recommend keeping a private journal about how you’re feeling, the doctor appointments you’re attending (and what the doctor tells you). These private journal entries can help refresh your memory in the future if there is a trial.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at +1 (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting For Truth”.