Would a jury deny your personal injury claim based on an Instagram or Facebook post alone?
When a Plaintiff brings a personal injury claim she is putting her health and well being at issue. Any innocuous post about an activity or even a statement about how you are feeling "can and will be used against you." Social media is routinely the subject of discovery requests. Litigants have a right to see an individual's social media accounts and these accounts are often requested by insurance Defense counsel. A good article on the growing use of social media in personal injury cases can be found here. The author recommends any Plaintiff abstain from all posting if they have any intention of making a claim for negligence. Good advice for sure. As proof, see the following excerpt from the article:
Consider a claimant who is seeking damages for chronic pain, some loss of mobility, and an inability to enjoy physical activities that he or she once loved, such as hiking. The defense scours through the claimant’s social media pages and stumbles upon photographic evidence that suggests the contrary — photos of the claimant enjoying a beautiful hike in the mountains, while smiling, and with friends. As a result, the judge rules that the claimant is not entitled to compensation for these damages as the photos show clear and convincing evidence of not only the claimant’s physical capabilities, but of his or her enjoyment of life as well. (Note: This example is based on the true story of Fotini Kourtesis, who claimed that a rear-end collision left her unable to dance or wrestle with her brother. Facebook pictures showed her being lifted into the air with her brother and dancing after the accident, and the judge ruled against her.) Could Social Media Impact Your Personal Injury Claim? By Stephanie R. Caudle, The Huffington Post