Be careful what you put on the internet! Did you know that if you have a personal injury claim that you may have to give the insurance company’s attorneys your account history including photographs, postings, “likes,” and shares on your Facebook or other social media sites? Yes, your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, or other types of social networking accounts could be found by the courts to be relevant to your injury case. The rules of procedure that apply to what the other side is entitled to get from you or “discover” in an injury lawsuit allow them to obtain a lot of information that may not be relevant or admissible in trial but that could lead to admissible evidence. Many times, people comment about their case or have pictures of themselves on their social media accounts, and these posts can come back to haunt them. Many courts are allowing defendants to get account histories from plaintiffs in defendants’ attempts to discredit injured plaintiffs. The courts have set some restrictions on what defendants are allowed to get regarding social media, but it is smarter to be careful about what you put out there.
I tell my clients not to comment about their case on social media and to be careful what they post. If you have a back injury due to your car accident, the one time you try to overcome the pain and run with your kids in a 5k or go to the beach and will come back to haunt you in your case if you then post a picture of your activities on your Facebook account. Remember that insurance companies do not want to pay you what you are owed, so they will use whatever they can to claim “she’s not hurt as bad as she says she is” or “see, he can get along just fine.” They will not post pictures of you laying on the couch the next day because you pushed yourself too hard and are paying the price.
If you have a pending personal injury claim, it is smarter to limit what you post on social media and to consider that anything you post may be used against you by insurance companies trying to keep their money.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.