For better or for worse, social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives. From posting funny memes to photos to comments about the current status of their personal lives, it’s all put out there for the world to see. For most of us, the only people who may actually be paying attention to what we are posting are our family and friends.
But more and more outside parties may become interested in your social media postings. Many colleges have begun looking at applicants social media postings, as do many employers when determining if a job applicant would be a good fit for a position. And if you are involved in a personal injury case, your social media postings may suddenly become of great interest to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and/or attorneys.
Personal Injury Claims
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to “make the person whole” after they have suffered losses caused by accident injuries. Your Virginia accident attorney will provide evidence to the other side to show how the injuries have negatively impacted your life. The at-fault party’s insurance company, however, will likely do everything they can to find or use evidence which would dispute that claim.
When an injury claim is being disputed, many insurance companies will employ private investigators to “dig up” evidence to show the victim is not really injured or their injuries are not as bad as they are claiming. Some of the tactics used by investigators include surveillance, and interviewing neighbors, employers, and friends. As social media has become more popular, so too has it become a more popular of a resource for investigators for evidence.
For example, in many personal injury cases, the victim has suffered some type of emotional distress because of their injuries and a Virginia accident attorney will include that as an element in the case, seeking financial compensation for that distress. The insurance company’s investigators may obtain access to photos from your social media account that shows you at a family event, where you are smiling and appear to be happy. Photos like this can be used as evidence to show that you are not really suffering from any distress.
Social Media Postings
Since more and more judges are allowing a victim’s social media accounts to be used as evidence, it is important to take steps to ensure your accounts will not be used against you:
- Do not post anything on your social media accounts that you would not say on the witness stand;
- Adjust all privacy settings so you have as much control as possible over who sees what you post;
- Do not discuss any aspect of your case or post any photos of your injuries on your accounts;
- Be aware that your friends and family may have more public settings on their accounts so any comments you post on their profiles may be seen. This also goes for any photos they may post, so ask people in your circle not even post photos that include you in them.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident or incident caused by another party, contact a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.