I recently had a client whose case lost value simply because of a Facebook post. This person posted pictures of them lifting weights and vigorously working out in a CrossFit Gym. A jury might have a hard time understanding how badly a person was hurt if that person was more physically fit than your average juror. To my client’s credit, they were documenting their recovery. We won, but maybe not as much.
Remember that every single post will be taken out of context and used against you. I’ve seen people take legitimate photographs of their injuries and had lawyers suggest that they took those to increase the value of their case. I want pictures of injuries to document recovery.
The simplest thing is to not post photographs of activities while you’re making claims for injuries. If you are going to post, keep your settings private. If you change your settings, you will be asked about that.
The only things that are private are communications between the attorney and the client and probably psychiatric records. However, if there’s a claim of mental anguish, (the wreck made me scared to drive), then those psychiatric records probably become relevant and admissible.
If you are claiming a foot injury, do not post pictures on social media of yourself hiking or jogging. It will be taken out of context. Even if it really hurt after the activity, you’ve created an inconsistency. Jurors look for consistency.
The reality is that most people don’t, and have no reason to understand how the legal system works. People believe what they think are facts and they’re not. Mark Twain said, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you, it’s what you know that just ain’t so.”
People believe that if the other person was at fault, that is all that matters. That’s just where it begins. There is no reason for anyone who doesn’t have to, to read a doctor’s deposition. I have to take one in every case that goes to trial.
With social media there’s no good reason to post comments or photographs about the accident or your injuries. We’ve seen people claiming shoulder injuries post photographs of themselves in bowling alleys. That hurt their case unnecessarily. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
If you are injured don’t do a lot of posting about it on social media.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, thank you for your referrals! 256-764-0112