The more exciting and unusual someone’s recent experience is, the more likely it is to gain traction on social media. People who have dramatic injuries or shocking encounters may capture video footage or take photos to share the story online with others. Friends and family can express shock or condolences, and the poster won’t need to share the basic details of what happened with everyone in their direct social network because they will have already seen it online.
After a car crash or a slip-and-fall at the store, people might take to their social media platform of choice to inform their loved ones and possibly place blame on the other party. They might call out a driver who had their phone in their hand and then caused a wreck or a business that didn’t properly maintain its facilities, leading to someone getting hurt. Doing so might result in a lot of likes, comments and possibly even shares, but it could also make it harder to hold the other party accountable later.
Social media content can be evidence in court
Some people feel very confident about sharing personal information online because they have relatively private profiles. Others just assume that everyone knows not to take social media too seriously. However, the courts can and frequently do treat what people share online as a key form of evidence. The other party could potentially make allegations of defamation if someone is too direct or accusatory in their statements about fault. The way that someone initially discusses the incident might limit their ability to take legal action because of poor word choice or the inclusion of unfavorable details.
Even if someone avoids posting about the injury or incident that left them hurt, what they share online during an insurance negotiation or while waiting to resolve a personal injury lawsuit could end up undermining their cases. The other party can ask for access to someone’s online profile beyond what is publicly available and could use images of someone at a party or on vacation as proof that their injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant a large payout or a personal injury lawsuit.
Those with pending legal matters often need to revisit their privacy settings on social media, avoid posting anything about the incident that left them injured and be very cautious about anything else that they share online until they resolve the matter to better safeguard their interests as their legal situation unfolds.