Social Media and Personal Injury Cases: What You Need to Know

May 16, 2018

Social media today is more prevalent than ever. Facebook has over two billion active users, with over 800 million on Instagram and 300 million on Twitter. This helps connect you to your friends and family. But it may also complicate a personal injury case. While you are proving your damages, the defense can use public posts on social media to undermine your case. Social media usage should become part of the strategy you discuss with a personal injury attorney.

Proving Your Personal Injury Case

A key part of your personal injury case is demonstrating how you were injured. Until you can show that someone else caused the incident, you cannot show that someone owes you damages. But causation isn't enough; you must also show the effect the injury has on you. Damages depend on your out of pocket costs and other costs that the injury imposes on your life. If you cannot work, you are entitled to lost wages. If you suffer losses to your ability to enjoy your personal life and relationships, that too entitles you to damages.

How the Defense Can Use Social Media

When you are working to prove your claims, the defense attorney looks for ways to undermine them. Social media can give fertile ground for the defense. Pictures and posts of you enjoying days out, celebrating special occasions, and enjoying an active life can push against your claims. Even innocuous posts can work against you. And in New Jersey, as in most states, any public post on social media is a public record. The defense is entitled to find your posts and use them against you.

Protect Your Privacy and Your Case

To protect yourself, you should make sure your social media settings maximize privacy. But even when you share only with friends and family, what you post can get out. Approach everything you post as something that could show up in your case.

If you have a personal injury claim in New Jersey, contact the lawyers at Stern & Stern LLP. We can help you protect your claim and get the recovery you deserve.