June 13, 2024

South West News

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The Dual Impact of Social Media on Personal Injury Claims

Social media has come to define the modern age, as technological advancements have led us to be more connected as a society than ever. We are able to speak with family and friends near-instantaneously through messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger; the ubiquity of Instagram and Twitter as platforms have shrunk the world to the palm of our hands – a global shift with profound benefits, and serious demerits too.

There is one particular area where both the practical benefits and negative impacts of social media as societal norm are laid bare: personal injury. Accidents are unfortunate, and unfortunately common. The outcome of a personal injury claim against a potentially liable party could be influenced – positively or negatively – by the existence and use of prominent social media platforms. But how exactly does this dichotomy present?

Gathering Evidence

One of the more immediate positive impacts of social media on personal injury outcomes can be found in the gathering and presentation of evidence. The building of a solid personal injury case is an extensive fact-finding exercise, and one which is made difficult when all information available is in the form of fallible eyewitness testimony. The normalisation of social media has made the documentation of events more common – in turn providing swathes of digital evidence which can be used to corroborate claims; posts, photos and videos of events as they occurred, or the extent of injuries after the incident, can all bolster the case at hand.

Inconsistencies and Inadmissibility

Conversely, though, the prevalence of information on social media platforms can work against the concreteness of a given personal injury case. This is because inconsistencies found within social media posts can be used by defence teams against the claimant, to undermine the validity of their claim or their own version of events. Even posts made in jest, underplaying the nature of a given injury, can be enough to harm the outcome of a case.

Emotional Appeals, Versus Privacy

The dichotomy of social media as help and hinderance also shows when it comes to the demonstration of your personal journey after an accident. Your team may deem it viable to chart the difficulties you faced in recovery, not just to put a monetary figure on rehabilitation but also to humanise your journey.

However, the openness of a client’s social media account can also jeopardise their sense of privacy and safety, as defence teams and insurance companies comb posts and profiles for information that could be used against them. This highlights the importance of taking care in posting to social media at any time, not just during a complex legal process.