Keeping Your Personal Injury Private in the Age of Social MediaNovember 7, 2015
Years ago, if a defendant or insurance company had doubts as to whether an Ohio personal injury plaintiff was injured as badly as he claimed, they would hire a private investigator to tail the plaintiff in his everyday life. Since the advent of social media, however, this practice is far less prevalent. Now, defendants frequently do not need to hire an investigator to photograph or record plaintiffs because the plaintiffs are now doing it themselves and posting the record of their life online.
What You Should NOT Post Online After You Have Suffered a Personal Injury
Does a personal injury mean that you can no longer use social media? No, but you should limit the information you share.
- Your injury
- The circumstances that led to your injury
- The money you hope/expect to receive as a result of a settlement or verdict
- The opposing parties
It is also a good idea to refrain from posting personal photos or videos, as even the most innocuous materials may be used to question the severity of your injuries.
Why These Posting Rules Apply to Everyone
As Ohio personal injury attorneys, we have seen numerous honest plaintiffs subjected to undue scrutiny because of an innocent—though unfortunate—post online.
Imagine a Cleveland car crash victim who, after weeks cooped up inside due to two broken legs, makes an arduous trip to the Lake Erie beach with the hope of experiencing a moment of enjoyment in an otherwise dark time in her life. While at the beach, lying on the sand next to her wheelchair, she snaps a selfie. In it she is smiling, momentarily happy, with neither her casts nor wheelchair visible in the shot. She uploads the photograph to Facebook and captions it, “Fun day at the beach!”
Those around her know that this plaintiff’s life is not fun—dealing with a personal injury can be a painful, frustrating experience. But, by posting this simple snapshot, our car crash victim has provided defense counsel with an out-of-context snapshot with which to question her injuries.
When it comes to discussing your personal injury claim online, privacy settings may not be enough. If you have been injured, protect your right to recover compensation by making smart decisions about what you share on social media.
Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA is an Ohio personal injury law firm. Representing clients in Cleveland, Ohio, and across the nation, our team of personal injury attorneys is available to discuss your case now. Call for a free consultation.Back To Blog