There’s no doubt the rise of social media has dramatically affected the way we live our lives in the past decade.
Many of us now conduct most of our conversations with family and friends via social platforms, allowing us to stay in touch across time and distance.
But social media users sometimes forget the public nature of many of the platforms. Posting on social media can have important implications for your image and reputation.
This is particularly so if for some reason you become involved in legal action such as a personal injury or other compensation claims such as workers’ compensation or motor vehicle accident claims.
This article will take a closer look at what people need to be aware of when using social media but if you have more detailed questions about how they apply to a legal matter, contact Gold coast Injury Lawyers today.
Think before you post
Social media is an area where the law continues to evolve but in recent years there have been several cases where a person’s posts have affected their compensation claim.
Everyone is familiar with a family member or friend who ‘overshares’ on social media, posting every detail of their daily activities.
This tendency can become a major problem in matters such as personal injury claims, where a person may be applying for compensation for an injury that their social media posts suggest is not as bad they claim.
This was the situation in the 2015 Queensland Supreme Court case of Digby v The Compass Institute Inc & Anor . In this case, Ms Digby claimed compensation for physical and psychological injuries she said she sustained at work.
In court, however, some of her Facebook posts were introduced which suggested alternative reasons for her psychological injuries and demonstrated that despite her claims of physical injury, she remained physically active by doing such things as camping.
As a result, it was found Ms Digby’s injuries were not as severe as she claimed.
The case highlights the importance of realising that social media posts can be used in civil proceedings such as compensation claims by defendants’ insurance companies, for example, to counter an injured person’s claims.
How should you approach social media if you’re involved in a compensation matter?
While no one is suggesting you completely abstain from social media, if you’re injured in an accident – whether it’s at work, in a motor vehicle accident or a public place – it’s important to remember a few key things about posting on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Don’t post pictures or videos of yourself engaged in strenuous physical activity, such as playing a sport, setting up a camp, painting a house or the like.
- Don’t post any material that might contradict any claim you have made about your injury or the pain and inconvenience it has caused. Anything that suggests you are not wearing an aid for your injury that you should be wearing, or not following the process of rehabilitation or recovery, can adversely affect your claim.
- Don’t make any comment in a post or reply about the matter for which you’re seeking compensation. In particular, do not say anything which could be construed as an admission of liability, or partial liability, on your part. All discussions about your injury between your legal representative and you are protected by legal professional privilege.
- Counsel family and friends to avoid discussing your legal matter online with you or anyone else. They may inadvertently reveal information which, again, should remain confidential between you and your lawyer.
Speak with us if you have social media concerns
A person seeking injury compensation should assume that anything they post on social media may be used by the insurance company or other party responding to their claim.
What’s more, the opposing party does not need to request permission or inform you that your social media content may be used in defence of your claim.
Don’t rely on thinking your social media count is set to ‘private’ or otherwise inaccessible.
If in doubt on whether your social media posts may affect your compensation claim for injury, contact Lifestyle Injury Lawyers today.