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How Social Media Could Impact Your Personal Injury Case

In today's society, staying connected to friends through social media is an essential part of any daily routine. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find even one person in their twenties who neglects to check their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account at least once a day. As the universal acceptance of social networking continues to grow, however, so does the average age range of its users. Now, even the most technologically challenged can point, click and create a social media profile in a matter of minutes. While there is nothing wrong with the rising popularity of tweeting, posting and poking, it is important to understand that this level of transparency could come back to haunt you. When pursuing a personal injury claim, the counsel for the defense will do anything and everything to discredit your allegations—which often includes scouring the Internet for a damaging blog, status update or picture.

If you were to claim that you had been severely injured in a car accident, for example, the defendant might be able to bolster their own case by presenting evidence that contradicts this (i.e. pictures of you doing extreme sports one week after the accident). For this reason, the Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Meyerkord & Russell encourage all of our clients to tread lightly when it comes to updating their social media accounts. Even past posts, tweets or blogs could damage a case, as the opposition may use them to prove that our client is of questionable character. That being said, it may be in your best interests to delete or suspend all of your social media accounts until your case has been resolved. Cases of this nature are complex enough; there is no reason why you should jeopardize your chances of recovering compensation by giving the other party ammunition—innocent as it may seem.

On the opposite side of the coin, it is also important to note that social media could be utilized in your favor. Just as the defendant may attempt to use your social networking habits against you, so can you against them. If you were to be involved in a drunk driving accident, for example, you may be able to most adequately establish that the other party is guilty of negligent conduct by presenting a picture of them drinking and driving on the night of the accident. You may be thinking, "No one is careless enough to post a picture like that on the Internet," but you would be surprised at what you could find. While this is just one example of how a person could, for lack of a better phrase, shoot themselves in the foot, it should also serve as a pertinent reminder that nothing you post on the Internet is private. If you have questions about how you can safeguard your injury claim, contact us today for a free consultation.

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