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In the age of social media, where users post photos of everything from children’s dance recitals to morning breakfast sausages, accident victims frequently use these online forums to share photos and news about their collision. Lawyers for insurance companies are increasingly asking Plaintiffs to produce this content in personal injury litigation. In this post, we explain four ways social media can be detrimental to personal injury claims.
- “At Least Nobody Was Hurt”
In the moments after a collision, it is perfectly natural to do a quick assessment of everyone’s condition. While some injuries may be readily identifiable, many others can take time to manifest, including soft tissue damage, non-displaced fractures, and psychological symptoms. Attention can quickly shift to assessing and photographing the property damage, but when those images are posted online, they almost inevitably lead to discussions regarding the nature and magnitude of injuries. These statements can be problematic, particularly if the injuries later turn out to be more serious than originally thought.
- A Private Investigator That Never Sleeps
Before social media, insurance companies would turn to private investigators to conduct surveillance on claimants, particularly if the adjuster had doubts about the extent of someone’s injuries or disabilities. That could involve many costly hours of an investigator’s time, with no guarantee the surveillance would even be fruitful. Today’s social media users can virtually eliminate the defence’s cost and risk of private surveillance, through posting content about their recreational activities, vacations, household projects or even workouts.
- Putting Forward Our Best Selves
Social media users tend to carefully curate what they choose to post online, in order to put forward an idealized image to their followers. However, there is often a disconnect between a user’s online image, and their real life. This can present a significant problem for injured plaintiffs, if their online statements and images are inconsistent with the complaints they make in the context of litigation.
- Inconsistent Memories
Personal injury claims often take a number years to resolve. For those that end up in litigation, quite a bit of time can pass between the accident and those moments when a claimant has to answer questions under oath, either at Questionings or Trial. It can be very challenging to remember specific details about the length of a recovery, or when particular activities were resumed. Claimants whose memories are inconsistent with evidence posted on their social media profile can hurt their credibility as a witness.
At Miller Thomson LLP, our accident injury lawyers are well aware of how social media is being used in these cases. We can provide you with information regarding the impact your profile may have on your case, and what to think about when engaging online after an accident. We deal with a full range of claims, from whiplash injuries to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death claims. Whether your claim arose from a motorcycle accident, a car accident, or even a boating accident, we can help.
Miller Thomson’s personal injury team is part of a national, full service law firm, with outstanding access to resources and strategic connections. Through our broad network of legal professionals across the country, we are well positioned to bring claims in other jurisdictions, investigate complex liability questions, and connect with leading experts. We have also invested in building relationships with trusted local clinics and therapists, so we can help our clients obtain timely access to diagnostic and rehabilitation resources.
Our clients get the benefit of a large, national firm and all its resources – but at the same cost as a small boutique firm – because our contingency fee percentage is the same competitive amount as the others.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation, consultation regarding the benefits and compensation you may be entitled to claim.