Lawsuits, Injury Claims, and Careless Social Media Posts

Can careless social media posts damage personal injury claims or lawsuits?

I’m always shocked at the extent to which people over share on Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I saw a news story about a local photographer who had been charged with a crime. Curious, I googled his name and ended up viewing his Facebook page. There, he detailed the actions that led to his arrest, and why he thought the charges unjust. In that post, he effectively admitted to the crime. Foolish man. I have seen others discuss drug use, post compromising pictures, bash ex boyfriends or girlfriends, and more. But even an innocent post can be twisted in such a way that it can damage injury claims.

Careless social media posts can kill an injury claim.

I hear plenty of stories about personal injury claims and lawsuits that were weakened because an injured person chose to post some picture that suggested that they were in better condition than they claimed. They may not have been lying or even exaggerating. But the picture may suggest otherwise. Small details like these are ammo for insurance companies and insurance defense lawyers. It doesn’t matter that the picture was taken on an especially good day, or may suggest the opposite of what someone was really feeling. The wrong post or picture can lead an insurance adjuster to doubt the validity of an injury claim and so fight harder than they might otherwise.

Take care not to overshare during the course of an injury claim or lawsuit.

You can’t blame them; they only see fragments of the person behind a personal injury claim. Uncharacteristic moments in a person’s recovery, those rare days of feeling unusually mobile or pain free, can create questions. More likely though, an insurance adjuster is just looking for tools to cast doubt on the authenticity of your injury claim. Such photos may come to influence a jury more than an MRI that clearly shows that you’ve been hurt. Nobody should ever fake an injury or exaggerate the impact of an injury. Those are not people I will represent and they aren’t the sort of people a jury wants to award money damages. An unrepresentative photo, a poorly worded comment, can suggest that’s exactly the kind of person you are. For this reason, I always tell clients to either disable social media accounts or take great caution with what they post.

Whether you’re a client involved in a whistleblower claim, a car accident claim, or a business dispute, Seattle attorneys at Peterson Baker will answer any questions about proper social media decorum.