Numerous Illinois residents enjoy using social media platforms to share their lives with the world. While there is nothing wrong with this, there is reason to censor what and when a person posts pictures, videos or status updates. A prime time to be shy about posting to a social media account is if one has recently been injured in an accident and has plans to file a personal injury claim.
Because of the mass use of social media forums, courts allow the information that can be found there as evidence in civil and criminal cases. For some, the data may prove helpful, but for others, it may be damaging. For instance, a person injured in a bike, car or any other type of accident may file a claim against the party thought responsible because the event has caused him or her to suffer physically, financially and emotionally. If that person then posts pictures or shares status updates shortly after the incident of going to the gym, buying a new car, going out with friends or taking a vacation, the extent of his or her suffering may be questioned.
No one is saying not to use social media, just be selective in what one shares. Do not delete information hoping it will help one’s case — as that may be viewed as destruction of evidence. Finally, be prepared to hand over access to these accounts if the court feels it necessary to review them.
Illinois residents who have suffered injuries in auto or pedestrian accidents may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Whether one’s case is settled out of court or goes to trial depends on several factors. Social media content may be used to damage one’s case either way, as the responsible party will look for any way to escape liability. A personal injury attorney can, among many things, offer guidance on social media conduct when one is considering filing a civil claim.