Let’s face it, its 2019 and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become increasingly more popular in today's society, making them almost a necessity. In fact, odds are if you are reading this blog, you found the link on your favorite social media platform. Social media crosses national and global boundaries and in the digital world, everything that is posted leaves its own individual fingerprint. The U.S Census Bureau reports that over 3.4 billion people around the world are actively using social media every day.
Like you, we, at Torgenson Law, are active on social media. With that said, as Arizona Injury Lawyers, we must warn you that social media can have more than one adverse affect on your ongoing or potential personal injury claim. So, how can your personal social media accounts affect your personal injury claim?
First of all, it goes without saying that you should never be looking at your cell phone while you are operating a motor vehicle. For example, let us say that you were involved in a motor vehicle collision, and investigation later reveals that that you were tweeting, commenting, or liking a post at the time of the crash. Arizona is a comparative fault state. Under these circumstances, your use of social media would not only diminish your ability to recover for your own personal injuries, but could also be liable for another’s damages.
In addition, those who pursue personal injury claims usually seek compensation not only for medical expenses but also for the pain and suffering associated with their injuries. Some examples of these non-economic damages include your inability or limited ability to partake in hobbies, family or social activities, work, household chores, educational pursuits and more. So, you can imagine that some social media posts can unquestionably diminish the value of your claim. A photograph of you hiking post-injury or even a Facebook post updating your friends and followers on your recovery process can be used against you to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Evidence is key to any lawsuit and there are few things more concrete than social media posts. The opposing attorney or even insurance companies themselves will comb through endless social media channels to find any shred of proof that your injuries are not as serious as they seem. The defense may also use posts, pictures, or videos they obtain from social media to disprove a pain and suffering claim with posts that depict the plaintiff as happy, cheerful, or excited. Some posts can even be used against the injured party to simply demonstrate a flawed character.
The key takeaway from this is that anything you post on social media is discoverable. No matter your privacy settings or the amount of followers you have, opposing lawyers and insurance companies are permitted to review your social media postings for any chance to discredit your statements. While it is understandable that some injury victims may turn to social media after a tragic event, these posts are public information and can have a detrimental impact on your potential recovery.
As Arizona Injury Lawyers, it is our duty to use our legal knowledge and experience to fight for those who are wrongly injured. We are also here to remind you that you can help your own case simply by being more passive on social media. If you or a loved one suffers injuries, call us at (602) 759-0012 for a free consultation regarding your personal injury rights.
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