How Social Media Can Be Used Against Your Personal Injury Claim

Video Transcription:
One of the things we might have discussed when we talked initially or when you were in the office is the whole issue of social media and how you approach social media issues once you've had an injury, particularly one where you have a claim that is going to be evaluated by an insurance company.

We have gotten very comfortable as a society in sharing so much about our lives to other people through Facebook and all the other social media, Instagram, Twitter and so on. It's almost gotten second nature to take pictures of us doing virtually any activity that we can do which is all great until you have an injury claim.

Over the last ten years the defense industry when they are evaluating a personal injury claim, is they go find out if someone has a Facebook account and other social media accounts. They will go through your Facebook or anyone that you are linked to. And, this doesn't mean that they are looking for something where you say "it's white" and they are finding you doing "black." It's not that. There are a number of things they find on Facebook particularly because so many times there are images that seem to be inconsistent with what someone is describing about their limitations or how an accident has affected them.

So, it doesn't have to be a stark, "I can do it" or "I can't do it" and then they find someone doing it, it's a lot of subtlety. So my advice is you don't go on social media  when you have an injury claim pending. You need to understand that anything you post on social media, you have to assume that it is in the file of the insurance industry and that they either will use it, question you about it at the deposition, they'll use it in a mediation, or they'll send it to us letting us know that they have it if we're negotiating a case but we haven't filed suit.

The other thing I would ask you to remember is that you certainly do not want to go back and start deleting things from your social media either. This can be considered an obstruction of evidence in terms of good faith in handling your claim. Lawyers have gotten in trouble with the Bar they instructed clients to delete things from their social media accounts, so I'm certainly not suggesting that you do that. It's not good practice in any event.

If you have questions about it and someone wants to do something on social media, certainly we are here. Call us and ask us about it but my advice is to pretty much stay away from it until your claim gets resolved.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.