Social Media Can Hurt You Personal Injury Claim: Irish Woman Loses $820,000 After Pic Emerges of Her Tossing Christmas Tree | Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Whittel & Melton


A woman in Ireland recently learned the hard way that social media is not your friend when it comes to a legal dispute, like a personal injury claim.

After a photo of the 36-year-old woman winning a competition to see who could throw a tree the farthest surfaced online, an Irish court denied the mother’s $820,000 insurance claim.

In 2017, the woman apparently claimed in disclosures made before Ireland’s High Court that she suffered from “debilitating pain” from a car accident that prevented her from lifting heavy objects and kept her in bed on bad days.

She allegedly made claims that she was unable to lift groceries, perform chores, or play with her two children because of the ongoing pain in her back, neck, and thoracic spine.

She filed a lawsuit against RSA Insurance, citing her inability to work for more than five years, and asserting past and future wage loss, which accounted for almost $542,000 of her entire claim, as reported by the Irish Independent.

A picture of the woman winning a Christmas tree throwing competition that was printed in the press nearly a year after her accident threw her case into disarray.

The image was apparently captured in January 2018 and shows the woman—dressed in a yellow jacket—forcibly tossing the tree in the western Irish town of Ennis, which is modeled after an antiquated lumberjack contest. The person who tosses it the farthest wins.

She is seen grinning in a second photo that was released, holding a mounted certificate that labels her the winner.

During her cross-examination in court, the woman apparently stated that she was still in agony after the Christmas tree incident and that she was only trying to lead a normal life.
The claim was dismissed by the judge who oversaw the case, citing that the woman’s hurling of the Christmas tree was a clear image that showed a very different story than medical evidence presented.

Can Social Media Posts Really Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you are still wondering if social media can be used against you for your personal injury claim, please understand that insurance adjusters and attorneys will comb through your social media accounts to find anything that can weaken your position.

Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to any type of litigation, and anything you post can be used against you. Pictures and videos can argue that the injuries you claim to have are not as severe as you suggest, which can undermine your credibility. Here are some things to consider in regards to social media and personal injury claims:

  • Do not share anything on social media about your situation. This includes any images, videos, comments, or other content that can dispute the severity of your injuries.
  • Watch out who you accept friend requests from. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers may attempt to friend you on social media so that they can see what you are up to. It is best to not accept friend requests from strangers. On that same note, if your accounts are public, it might be best to change your privacy settings.
  • You should not delete any posts or messages. Deleting posts or messages may be interpreted as an attempt to conceal evidence.

If you have been involved in a car crash, truck accident, or even pedestrian accident anywhere in the state of Florida, our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you get the compensation you need to move forward. Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation.

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