Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is the harm of being on social media when trying to settle an injury claim?”
A 2016 research study by The Pew Research Center estimates that over 65% of adults in the United States use some form of social media. With the number of applications available on a smart phone, tablet, or computer, that is not a surprise. Everyone is excited to check in with their followers and update them on what is happening in their lives. Social media helps people connect with others all across the country, and even the world, whom they might otherwise not have met or been able to keep in steady contact with. While social media becomes more popular, it is essential to evaluate the impact it has on other parts of life. Social media can play an important role should you be involved in a personal injury suit. Social media can be beneficial to a plaintiff’s case, but it can quickly turn into a detriment.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding social media and personal injury suits is the evidence that can be gathered by the other side to use against you and negate your injury claim. In North Carolina, most cases center around the defendant being negligent in his or her actions and causing the injury of the plaintiff. In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that a defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty, the breach of duty caused the injury, and the injury resulted in damages.
Opposing counsel will likely be looking at the plaintiff’s public social media platforms to find any evidence to discredit the claim. A plaintiff who claims an injury that prevents him or her from doing an activity, but is later photographed engaging in the alleged impossible activity will have a hard time proving damages. Additionally, any comments or discussion about injuries, the lawsuit, or the other party could be used against a plaintiff, depending on the statements made and the context in which they were made.
North Carolina is one of the only states in the United States that applies a contributory negligence policy. In other jurisdictions, plaintiffs who are partially responsible for their injuries will have their award amount reduced by the amount they were responsible. In North Carolina, if a plaintiff is at all responsible for his or her injuries, then he or she is barred from recovery. Even a small post or comment on social media could allude to the plaintiff being at fault.
Since social media can be a detriment to a personal injury suit, it is best practice to refrain from posting information about it on a social media platform, but also avoid engaging in discussion with others who may be talking about the incident. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help you navigate questions about the use of social media and your personal injury claim. We have the skills and resources needed to get you the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Do not let one sentence on social media derail your entire personal injury case; hire an attorney who can help you and advise you on how to conduct yourself on social media for the duration of the case. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and the new location under renovation in Monroe. Contact us, Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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