Can Social Media Affect My Louisiana Personal Injury Claim?

December 9, 2020 Accident

Can Social Media Affect My Louisiana Personal Injury Claim?

Yes, from the standpoint of any Louisiana personal injury claim, social media — like Twitter, Youtube and Facebook — can be a potential benefit, but also a possible detriment. On the plus side, if you are injured in an accident, bystanders may have taken pictures with their phones, or possibly a video. They might then upload those photos or videos to social media platforms. Such can be invaluable to an insurance claim or, if necessary, as evidence in a lawsuit filed here in Louisiana state or federal courts to recover money damages. This is one of many reasons that you should hire experienced and proven Louisiana personal injury lawyers like those at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC to handle your case if you are the innocent victim of another person’s negligence. Social media savvy lawyers know the importance of seeking evidence in places like Facebook and Instagram.

Your own social media postings can also be useful. For example, maybe occasionally you upload Youtube videos of you gardening or boating or playing with the kids. If you are the victim of an accident and, now after the accident, your ability to engage in “life activities” has been severely limited, some videos might be admissible as evidence of what you were once able to do compared to what you are now able to do. In a similar manner, maybe you posted photos of you washing your car.  The photos can be used to prove that your car was in perfect condition prior to the accident.

On the downside, social media postings can be a potential detriment to your insurance claims and/or lawsuit. Thus, caution is urged with respect to social media posting after an accident.

Just as your trusted Louisiana personal injury lawyers will be searching social media, so will the lawyers for the insurance company. Insurance companies want to pay as little as they can on accident claims and will use any damaging information that you upload. For example, if you have been in a Louisiana auto accident, later in the day after your accident, you might take some photos of your car and yourself and post them online. You might say something like: “Look at my car! All smashed!” and then say: “But look at me, I am fine. I walked away from THAT!” Clearly, it was a momentous event worthy of posting.

But, again, caution is urged. That sort of social media commentary will be a detriment to your claim/case if it turns out that you are, in fact, NOT “fine.” Maybe a day after the accident you begin to feel pain and sickness. You go see your doctor and, after examination, your doctor diagnoses you with some serious medical condition — like traumatic brain injury — resulting from the accident. Your claims are not lost, but in an effort to pay as little as possible, you can be sure that the insurance company representatives will highlight your online statement of “I am fine.”

Sometimes, even subtle social media postings can harm your case. There is, for example, a famous case from Oklahoma in which a worker was injured on the job. He was diagnosed with back injuries and with trauma that resulted from his accident. Sometime after the case was filed, he attended a party with friends. He was photographed drinking beers, smiling, and walking around. Those photos ended up online. The defense attorneys were allowed to show the photos during the court proceedings. The court held that the photos were admissible because they were “some evidence” that the victim was not as injured or traumatized as he claimed.

So, as noted, caution is urged with respect to social media posting.

Mansfield Melancon Attorneys can Help

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have proven experience with many types of personal injury cases including Louisiana automobile accidents. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.