The following considers what you need to know about how social media affects your personal injury claim:
Social Media Posts Can Be Detrimental to Your Claim of Physical Injury.
The people who are pursuing a personal injury claim are usually doing so because, in part, they have suffered physical injuries, such as a broken leg, chronic pain, concussion, traumatic brain injury, soft tissue injury, etc. As such, they are seeking compensatation for two things: first, expenses associated with the injury such as the costs of staying in a hospital, and second, noneconomic damages for pain and suffering that resulted as a direct consequence of the physical injury.
It is normal practice that In order to substantiate these damages, someone who is making a Personal Injury Claim will usually call upon medical experts, as well as any other specialists or witnesses, including family and friends, who can testify to the claimant’s pain.
The role of the defense solicitor, or the party against whom the claim is being filed, is to do the opposite. In other words to try to drag up evidence that suggests that damages are not nearly as severe as the claimant purports. One of the best sources of evidence is social media profiles.
Let us take the position of someone who is seeking damages for chronic pain, some loss of mobility, and an inability to enjoy physical activities that he or she once loved, such as hiking. The defense scours through the claimant’s social media pages and stumbles upon photographic evidence that suggests the contrary by finding photos of the claimant enjoying a beautiful hike in the mountains, while smiling, and with friends. As a result, the judge rules that the claimant is not entitled to compensation for these damages as the photos show clear and convincing evidence of not only the claimant’s physical capabilities, but of his or her enjoyment of life as well.
In addition to physical injuries, those who are involved in accidents often suffer emotional distress as well. Loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, depression, and withdrawal and isolation are all things that have been reported by those involved in accidents. And, just like with physical injuries, a claimant who wants to be compensated for his or her emotional injuries must offer proof.
The defense solicitor in a personal injury claim will often go to Facebook and other social media sites or forums, such as a claimant’s personal blog, in order to disprove claims of emotional distress, depression, etc. And the evidence that they use may be more surprising than you would think. Rather than the obvious! You do not put up glum and depressive pictures do you. You post such as pictures of the claimant enjoying life or smiling amongst friends and surprise surprise the defense solicitor may use something as seemingly innocuous as posts on the claimant’s page wishing the claimant a happy birthday, while making the claim that if the claimant was socially isolated and friendless, he or she would not receive birthday wishes from so many other users. Although the link between birthday wishes on a Facebook page and depression may seem loose, be sure that the defense will pull upon anything they can in order to reduce the amount of money they are liable for.