Ways Social Media Undermines Personal Injury Claims
Provided by HG.org
Social Media has become one of the top ways of communicating since the information age exploded. These platforms allow online individuals to post pictures, video, data and various other items immediately. Even with the harshest and most restricting privacy settings, there are often many mistakes made that provide victims thousands in damages due to the harm caused.
These instances often arise through a lack of knowledge of what to post and who may provide details about events. When someone has been harmed, a friend or family member may paste an image of the injury. Unfortunately, this frequently interferes with personal injury claims.
Social media has a way of influencing the outcome of a case when dealing with personal injury court claims. Of these, it is essential to understand what someone is permitted to do and how the actions of either the victim or someone close to him or her may harm or help the situation. It is when text is used to show how someone was harmed previously that a case may be lost. Claims for compensation may be denied when someone provides information on these platforms explaining how the injury was faked. Though these posts may be sufficient evidence, they could also be misdirection by someone that has an enmity with the injured individual.
Influence of Social Media
The extent of injuries often explained who is liable in a case through the legal defense. Analysis of damage the victim sustained is determined by a medical professional. After an examination has been completed, the details are provided that may show what treatment is necessary and if additional or future healthcare is necessary. Some circumstances allow for manageable instances where pain may not be as severe and injuries sustained are minimal. Social media is used often by defense lawyers to show just how little harm was caused through the accident. Various pictures of this injured person holding babies or participating in sports activities prove that damage was not extensive. As a visual representation, these images are significant in the courtroom.
A common tactic that lawyers use when attempting to prove the victim was not harmed in the incident is pre-existing injuries. While wound exacerbated by an accident may provide compensation through the court, unrelated harm is not considered during these proceedings. Posts on social media websites are used as evidence in both image and text to show the wounds occurred prior to the accident. When pictures are found on the victim using items such as a neck brace days or weeks before the injury occurred, this is sufficient to deny those claims for compensation. Though this may be used to decrease the odds of monetary or medical compensation, this is not always the case.
Many that have been involved in accidents have the need to share what occurred both in person and online. While this is natural behavior, these persons often share more information than necessary which may elevate the likelihood of liability through state negligence laws. Even a slight redistribution of liability may cost these victims many thousands in damages. Certain statements are often used against the injured party to provide proof he or she was a contributing factor in the accident or harm. This means he or she was also culpable for physical damage sustained. Various statements such as only taking his or her eyes off the road or the inclusion of smoking or drinking frequently prove that the other person is not solely responsible for the accident. When a legal representative has been hired, he or she usually explains how posting such content is averse to the case.
Erasing Social Media Accounts
Many victims believe the best way to be protected from prying eyes or those that scan through social media content is to erase or delete these accounts for the trial proceedings. Unfortunately, courts and defense lawyers look upon these actions unfavorably. These actions should only be completed with the assistance of a legal professional. Some actions such as deactivating old accounts may be recommended. These would be those social media platforms that are no longer used, are out of date or have embarrassing information attached that is no longer prudent on current events.
Other actions that may prove beneficial are to increase privacy settings and to stop accepting friend requests while the case is ongoing. Publicly accessible social media accounts should be set to friends only to ensure no additional individuals may peruse the details. Additionally, defense lawyers may pose as a friend to gain access to these personal particulars. A lawyer is often necessary with these cases, and he or she may provide more steps that should be followed.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.