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Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case

Seth Harris

Last modified on December 20, 2023

Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case

Being hurt due to another party’s negligence is a frustrating experience. Fortunately, there is a way to pursue justice while also seeking compensation for your medical bills and other losses resulting from your accident—filing a personal injury claim.

When filing a claim with an insurance company, be aware that the insurer aims to settle your claim for as little as possible. An insurance adjuster will look for any forms of evidence they can use to justify offering less compensation than you think you deserve. Some insurance adjusters look for this evidence on social media in the digital age.

Understanding the relationship between social media and personal injury claims is vital if your case is pending. When you know how social media posts can jeopardize your case, you may be more likely to use social media cautiously during this time.

Social Media and Personal Injury Claims: What You Need to Know

There are various ways that what you post on social media could negatively impact your chances of securing the compensation for which you may be eligible. Consider the following potential examples:

Pictures May Call into Question the Severity of Your Injuries

Be careful when posting any images on social media if you haven’t settled your personal injury claim yet. Pictures that show you playing sports or engaging in other such physical activities could indicate your injuries aren’t as serious as you say they are.

Even if you’re not in the picture, a social media photo might be evidence against you in a personal injury case. For example, maybe you post pictures of your loved ones hiking. An insurance adjuster may ask who took the picture. If you did, the adjuster could argue your injuries clearly aren’t that severe if you can join loved ones on a hike.

Insurance Adjusters May Contact Friends and Family

Social media platforms let you decide who can and can’t see your posts. You may assume you can post anything you want on social media if your account is private and an adjuster can’t access it.

Don’t make this error. An insurance adjuster may contact friends and family to ask if they’ll voluntarily share anything you’ve posted on social media. A friend or loved one may share information with an adjuster that can harm your case without intending to.

In addition, New York case law establishes a precedent for accessing private social media content when it’s relevant to litigation. Depending on the circumstances, an insurance company may have a legal right to access your private social media accounts.

Social Media Posts Can Hurt Your Claim Even After You Reach a Settlement

Posting on social media can harm your case even after all parties have agreed to a settlement. That’s because some settlements include terms prohibiting claimants or plaintiffs from publicly sharing the terms of the settlement.

If you were to share confidential information via a social media post, you could violate the settlement’s terms. You might no longer be eligible for any money if this were to happen.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Social Media and Your Personal Injury Case

It’s best to avoid social media while a personal injury case is pending. You’ll enjoy greater peace of mind if you know there’s no chance you’ll harm your own case by posting the wrong thing on social media.

Many people find it difficult to give up social media for indefinite periods of time. If you must use social media before your case is resolved, be sure to:

  • Consider every post carefully. Before posting anything, think about how it might contradict any statements you’ve made about your injuries or abilities after an accident.
  • Be careful accepting new friend requests. A new “friend” might be an insurance adjuster or other such party trying to gain access to your account.
  • Understand the privacy settings of other social media accounts you engage with. Even if your account is private, a friend’s might not be. You could thus jeopardize your case if you commented about it on a friend’s social media.

Personal injury claimants generally shouldn’t discuss their ongoing cases. Social media is another environment in which this topic is best kept off-limits.

Contact an NYC Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s actions or inaction and wish to learn more about your legal options, our NYC personal injury lawyers at Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb can help. If you hire us, we’ll also explain what you should and shouldn’t do on social media while we aggressively pursue a settlement for you. Learn more by calling us today at 800-PAIN-LAW or by contacting us online for a free case review.

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Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.

VERDICT

$17,500,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.

VERDICT

$4,730,398

Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).

VERDICT

$12,561,772

A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.

VERDICT

$10,500,000

A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.

VERDICT

$3,470,670

The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.

VERDICT

$3,823,000

Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.

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$2,750,000

The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.

VERDICT

$1,677,835

The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.

VERDICT

$2,995,000

The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.

VERDICT

$2,610,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.

VERDICT

$2,253,714

A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.

VERDICT

$1,900,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.

VERDICT

$1,350,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

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I contacted Burns and Harris, this company which is renamed now, about two years ago about my injury. I even had an in person meeting with Stephen LaRocca.I had to chase him for a year just to sign something, in the end I just gave up. Pretty appalling company and even worse than people have written. I can only imagine the people who haven’t taken the time to write your review. Don’t bother with them.
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My experience with Harris Keenan and Goldfarb was wonderful. My legal representative, Steven LaRocca with Samantha Walton always made me feel well defended and cared for, in a way that went beyond professional representation and into the realm of caring about me on a personal level. Steven, Samantha and Seth Harris got me a great outcome and I can’t thank them enough!
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Horrible people. I lost complete confidence in this firm. Attorneys dragged their feet for 4 years and my mom died before a settlement could be reached. I advised them several times that my mom was sick to put fire under their feet but the effort was to no avail.
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I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
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Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
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I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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