Most people are living vicariously through social media these days. It is quite the phenomenon. Ten or fifteen years ago this was barely happening, now social medias are widespread and people can’t get enough of them. Walk down the street and people are buried in their phones, scrolling for more content and more dopamine hits. Bizarre! There are certainly benefits to it but there are certainly many problems with it too.
The same can be said for personal injury cases. Social media can hurt you or it can help you. As no win no fee solicitors in Birmingham, we have seen it go both ways.Like with anything, it is going to be about how you use your time, the environment and the things around you to determine if it is good or not. With social media, we have some tips for people that are involved in a case, perhaps about to start a case or are simply interested incase they are ever involved in a case in the future
Social media is used by solicitors to investigate cases
Make no mistake about it, solicitors are using social media to investigate cases. Let’s say you are our client. You have had whiplash as a result of a car crash but it is becoming difficult to prove the incident to push a claim forward. You can guarantee that the other lawyers are going to be doing everything they can through social media to try and bring your claim down.
They will look to make sure you were not somewhere else at the time, they will study your actions after the incident date (were you really injured?) and so on. They will be doing everything in their power to try and protect their client, even if their client has wronged you, caused you damage and now you justly deserve compensation.
It can help us to create a case
On the flip side, we can use social media to support a case we are making. Let’s say you have been injured by someone in a public place. They claim to have not been in said public place.
However, on their Facebook it said they would be attending an event at that public place, they have tweeted about going to said public place that day and they have an Instagram near said public place. Without all this information, although not concrete, the case could be harder to prove. Social media, essentially, is like a digital footprint. The authorities are using it all the time to figure out crime cases and it is no difference in the lawyering world.
If you are involved in a case, steer away from social media
The best thing to do is not be on social media when you have a case in play. You might accidentally suggest something through your social media that then harms your case.
You might be claiming for psychological and emotional harm, claiming you are isolated.
You then post a picture of a few weeks ago when you were with one of your friends and now the opposing lawyer wants to use this against you. What seemed like a harmless act of self-fulfilment, something to do and something to share could start to turn the case against you. You go from being likely to win £20,000 to losing site of that money.
All because you posted a picture! Now, we should probably say that you can reside on social media if you like (case dependent), but just don’t post. What seems like an innocent post could really cost you.
You could use social media for the case if…
It might be beneficial for you to stay on social media if you know the other party involved. You might be able to do the opposite as described above. If they are acting out of character or evidence presents itself that could help your case, you can screenshot and provide this to us as evidence. We cannot guarantee that evidence you give us will necessarily be useful, but it could be.
Social media can be used against you if…
Another reason that social media can affect your personal injury claim negatively is if you don’t accurately report your injuries. You could say that your back is sore and not properly or accurately disclose the extent of your pain. You might claim that it hurts to sit for too long.
Then you might get tagged in a picture on Facebook where you are sat in the back of a car, with the poster saying you are on the way to X location which would require a long time sitting. The opposing lawyer or insurance company is going to look at this and bring it up indefinitely. There are loads of examples that could be used in place of the sitting down example. What we mean is: make sure to accurately disclose the extent of your injury (occasionally painful, can walk for parts of the day, can sit for four hours a day, it only hurts if etc.) so a social media snippet cannot be used against what you say in your claim.
Social media can be your friend or enemy. The best part is – you get to make the choice!
Also published on Medium.