Social media platforms are heavily used today, and they continue to grow in popularity. However, when using these social media platforms, it is important to practice caution. You should always be careful about what you are posting on social media because everyone will be able to see it, and sometimes it can come back to haunt you.
In Florida, "all relevant evidence is admissible, except as provided by law." Another general rule under Title VII, Chapter 90, Evidence Code is that "relevant evidence is evidence tending to prove or disprove a material fact and relevant evidence is inadmissible if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, justice, confusion of issues, misleading the jury, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence."
This means that social media may prove to be relevant evidence
in the case of a personal injury claim and can ultimately be used to disprove
your case. So, if there is an image or a post on your social media platforms
that can disprove your claim of bodily injury, for example, this evidence can
be presented without evidential objection.
The Insurance Company's Goal
Diminishing your personal injury claim is definitely the
goal of the insurance company so they will do whatever possible to limit the
liability of their client. To do this, they will be on the hunt for any
evidence at all that can undermine your personal injury claim. So, when posting
on social media, you really need to be mindful of what it is you are posting and what is being posted
publicly for all to see.
Social Media Evidence
When looking for evidence on social media platforms, the
insurance company will keep an eye out for any social media posts or image
uploads as well as job updates, location check-ins, tagged posts, and tagged
images. All of this can result in a much lower settlement or no settlement at
Social Media and Damages
When you file a personal injury claim, you are stating that
you have suffered damages in the past and the future as the direct result of
the negligence of another. These damages can often include bodily injury, physical
pain and suffering, disability, loss of income, and the loss of normalcy in
your everyday life and routine.
Other damages you may receive compensation for in a
personal injury lawsuit include physical impairment, scarring, mental anguish,
loss of consortium, permanent injury, and past and future medical expenses and
rehabilitation costs there may be as the result of the injuries sustained in
The Effect of Social Media On Your Claim
Now you may be wondering exactly how your social media can
affect a personal injury claim. Let's say, for example, you were involved in an
accident in which you sustained a spine injury along with emotional distress.
This has led to emotional anguish and your inability to participate in your
normal lifestyle. You hire your personal injury attorney and file your claim.
After doing so, you choose to go on vacation with your
family and friends. They plan on some strenuous physical activity while on this
trip and instead of staying behind, you decide to tag along. You are then
tagged in a photo on the top of a mountain following a hike.
The insurance company then comes across your post and
claims that you couldn't possibly be suffering as much as you claim because you
were able to hike. This can diminish the personal injury claim and can result
in a much lower settlement offer and, in some cases, no settlement at all.
It is important to discuss your case in length with your personal
injury attorney and follow the advice they are offering. It
never hurts to adjust your social media settings to help ensure that your
profiles are all set to private. In this private setting, you will have to
accept a friend request for them to see what you are posting.
For any other questions, it is always a good idea to
discuss everything with your attorney.