Social Media and Personal Injury Claims

Bernadette Rose

Bernadette Rose

The use of social media to share our thoughts, feelings, photos and other lived experiences has never been more prevalent than today. We have a range of platforms, apps and mediums by which to engage with our audience of family, friends and associates, either publicly or privately. In the legal world, social media can be what makes or breaks a case.

The Double-Edged Sword

The accessibility of all this information may come with unintended consequences for those in the midst of pursuing a personal injury claim for compensation. It is common for insurers to track and closely examine social media in an effort to ascertain whether a claimant’s injuries are actually as bad as alleged.

This may be surprising for claimants to hear, as social media is held by some as a safe place to open up without fear of scrutiny and judgment. If a claim is under way, you can expect that every photo, video, status, check-in or post may be used against you. You never know what the other side will attempt in order to twist a narrative about the injuries you have sustained.

The Court’s view of Social Media as Evidence

Law Courts permit the use of social media as admissible evidence in both civil and criminal trials. It is most often used to highlight inconsistences in a recount of events, and to cast doubt on credibility.

For example, If a Claimant alleges they have a significant impairment to their arm following an accident, but post photos playing baseball, golf or tennis online, the Court will view their claim unfavourably.

Contradicting versions of events may also stem from unlikely places. For example, the words of friends or a family member may hinder your prospects of success if they tag you on social media out being active, or comment about activities you may have participated in over the weekend.

What can you do?

If you have suffered an injury and are seeking compensation, it is best to keep as much information private as possible. Information that you think may not be relevant to your claim may still be twisted and brought up in the Court process. If you feel disconnected without social media, try to temporarily limit your activity to commenting or liking friends’ content, rather than publishing any personal content or updates about yourself.

If you are worried about social media implications, as well as other hurdles in navigating your personal injury claim, give Littles Lawyers a call at 1800 548 853 for assistance.

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