Social Media & PI Cases: How Social Media Can Sabotage Your Case
November 24, 2014
Social media is an effective way to communicate and is clearly here to stay. While using various social media sites is daily habit for some people, when these people also have a personal injury case pending, what they post to their social media accounts can end up sabotaging their case if they are not careful.
Here we’ll point out some of the specific ways in which using social media can hurt injured people’s (i.e., plaintiffs’) personal injury cases. If you, however, have not yet initiated your personal injury case, you can get professional advice and superior representation by contacting the experienced Portland personal injury lawyers at the Savage Law Firm today.
Social Media & PI Cases: Here’s What You Should Avoid Doing…
If you regularly use social media and you are involved in any type of personal injury case, do your best to avoid:
- Posting comments about your injuries or the accident – While you may be in the habit of jumping on your social media accounts to express your feelings or share what is going on in your life, when it comes to talking about your injuries and the accident that led to them, do your best to avoid commenting at all about these matters in any social media forum.The reason for this is that defendants’ attorneys can subpoena your social media posts and may find ways to use your comments about your injuries and the accident against you.For instance, if you have said something about possibly being at fault in the accident or about your injuries “not being that bad,” defendant’s attorneys can use these comments in court to reduce the value of your case or even to try to get your case dismissed.
- Posting comments that defame the defendant(s) in the case – In the aftermath of a personal injury, it’s not uncommon for injured people to develop bitterness and resentment towards the defendant(s) in their case – particularly if the accident or injuries has left people with irreversible impairments.Regardless of how angry, frustrated or upset injured people may be, however, it is best that they do not channel these feelings in their social media posts as disparaging comments against the defendant. While these types of comments can end up hurting the personal injury case at hand, they could even lead to defamation suits being filed against the injured people in the most serious cases (particularly when the defendant may be a prominent corporation or public figure).
More Ways Social Media Can Hurt Plaintiffs’ PI Cases
In addition to avoiding making comments about your injuries, the accident or the defendant on social media, people should also avoid the following when they are involved in pending personal injury cases:
While this info can help you avoid sabotaging a personal injury case through social media, don’t hesitate to contact us when you are ready for the best representation in your case.
- Posting pictures of your physical activities – Sharing pictures is one of the many fun things that people can do with their social media accounts. However, when people are involved in personal injury cases, any pictures that feature them engaged in physical activities can come back to bite them.This is because defendants in personal injury cases can subpoena social media pictures and use them to try to allege that people’s injuries are not as bad as they have purported them to be. In some cases, defendants may even go so far as to use these pictures to try to claim that the plaintiffs were not injured at all and have been embellishing their injuries as part of frivolous claims.
So, the bottom line here is be very careful about posting photos of your activities to your social media accounts if you’re personal injury case is still pending.
- Posting any details about negotiations or possible settlements in your case – As personal injury cases make their way towards resolutions, injured people may be involved in the negotiations, and they may end up agreeing to take a settlement prior to trial (in fact more than 90 percent of personal injury cases are resolved before trial).During these negotiations and/or after settlements have been accepted by plaintiffs, it’s more critical than ever to keep updates about these proceedings and/or detailed information about personal injury settlements out of your social media posts.This is because there can be various types of confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements that plaintiffs sign as part of these proceedings (or after them), which means that violating such terms could not only sabotage any headway people’s attorneys have made in negotiations but that it could end up invalidating already signed settlement agreements.
It’s important to note that these things to avoid doing in social media do not only apply to the plaintiffs in personal injury cases; they also should extend to the close loved ones of the plaintiffs, as these people may be privy to information about cases that should remain confidential and out of the realm of social media.
Portland Personal Injury Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been hurt by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior? If so, it’s time to contact the Portland personal injury attorneys at the Savage Law Firm. Since 1977, we have been dedicated to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.