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Updating your social media is almost second nature in today’s day and age. It has become so prevalent that you’ve probably incorporated it into your daily routine.

You wake up, check your twitter, respond to friends with a few funny snapchats and go to work. Then you come home, cook an amazing dinner and upload a picture to Instagram and Facebook to show your followers your awesome cooking skills.

This kind of instant communication has a great impact on our lives. It allows us to stay connected with family and friends all over the world, with one simple click of a button.

But while social media has many positive impacts, it can also have negative ones as well, especially if you’re involved in a personal injury case.

If you find yourself involved in an accident, the first thing you might want to do is update your friends and family on your social media pages. But personal injury lawyers are advising clients not to do this. In fact, not only should you refrain from posting about the accident, you should avoid posting anything at all during the course of your personal injury case.

This advice comes with good logic. This is because defence lawyers have the ability to search for evidence on a plaintiff’s social media pages. If they find anything that they deem to be relevant to the case, they can have the judge review it and even order it into the case as evidence.

Maybe this thought has crossed your mind before. So you went ahead and protected yourself by kicking up the privacy settings on your account. But even these precautions can be sidestepped.

Some car insurance companies have been known to make fake profiles and even friend plaintiffs online so they can gain access to private profiles. Even if a defence lawyer cannot access the profile, if they have good reason to believe that your activity online can contribute to a case, they can get a court order to access your profile. Privacy settings or not, defence lawyers can often find ways to view your online information.

So how can posting to social media really damage your case?

Let’s say you get in a car accident. The day it happens you post a status to Facebook saying “I was just in a car accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt.”

But days go by and you start to notice that you do have injuries, and they are becoming more severe than you thought. Now, when you go to claim the compensation you rightfully deserve, a defence lawyer will dive into your social media, and find that you yourself stated that no injuries were incurred as a result of the accident.

Here’s another example. You find yourself in a car accident and you start a personal injury case to compensate for the physical and emotional trauma you’ve endured. But a couple of weeks later you post a picture to Instagram of you and your friends eating ice cream. You’ve tagged your location and you happen to be out at East Park London. While the picture only shows you eating ice cream, the geo-tag on the photo insinuates that you are out playing games, riding waterslides, racing go-karts or hitting baseballs in the batting cages. Whether or not this is true, this could damage your personal injury case and be used by the defence as evidence that you are not suffering any physical or emotional trauma as a result of the accident you were involved in.

What you should do

If you’ve been involved in an accident you should stay away from social media during the length of your case.

If you do decide to use your social media pages, the personal injury lawyers at Harrison Pensa recommend that you always manage your account with caution and foresight. Think before you post and be aware that what you post online can be used against you in your real-life personal injury case.

For more information or to book a free consultation, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today by phone at 1-855-744-9228, by email at

personalinjurygroup@harrisonpensa.com or live chat with one of our representatives at www.harrisonpensapersonalinjury.com.

A word from our clients

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"My wife was involved in a very serious motor vehicle collision several years ago, and luckily she survived, but unfortunately she suffered some injuries."
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January 8, 2016

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HARRISON PENSA ™ is a full-service law firm representing private & business interests throughout southwestern Ontario.

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