Can a person who experienced harms from Instagram prove related loss of earnings?

Michigan – October 29, 2022

Teenagers and young adults who have used Facebook or Instagram and subsequently experienced negative mental health impacts that continue to plague them as they get older may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover damage compensation. Victims should talk with a personal injury lawyer about identified negative health impacts that may include:

  • Depression or depressive symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • ADHD
  • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Any other diagnosed mental illnesses

Proving loss of future earnings.

Individuals who have been harmed by Instagram that causes long lasting depression and anxiety may have a means to access damage compensation.  Serious behavior problems may render Instagram victims unable to resume a previous profession or work at all and may need five things to support a claim for personal injury.

  • Victims need documented income to show what they made before depression caused them to be less or unable to work. (An exception would be if you have been a student working toward a degree).
  • Victims must have claimed wages as taxable income, including those who receive aa W-2 from their employer or a1099 Forms if they were working as an independent contractor.
  • Victims must have suffered personal injury.
  • The injury suffered must have impaired the victim’s ability to work.
  • A qualified healthcare provider must give their professional opinion that there are residual restrictions or disability. If the doctor concludes a harmed victim totally and permanently disabled, the loss of future wages is clear.

Because depression and anxiety have a subjective component, experts (i.e., a vocational expert) must determine what type of gainful employment the victim may be able to do. It is important for individuals to provide their healthcare providers with an accurate description of the job they will no longer be able to do. A doctor may request that a “functional capacity evaluation” be conducted to determine residual harms. Victims of social media harms may need to prove that the negative mental health issues were not present before the extended use of the platforms.

Recoverable damage compensation.

Damage compensation in a personal injury lawsuit refers to correcting any losses, economic or non-economic, incurred because of an external factor.  Any mental health struggles caused by Instagram in this case may require compensation to cover:

  • Medical treatment costs,
  • Therapy costs,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional damages,
  • Lifelong disability addresses loss of income and professional training,
  • Other potential damages as identified in the Meta lawsuits.

Individuals and families who are suffering through mental health issues and related financial insecurity caused by social media addiction or those who have lost a loved one through suicide due to a negative social media interaction should contact experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers to discuss their concerns.

Victim criteria.

Lawsuits for social media may be based on improper or non-existent warnings to the dangers posed by their use and victims who used the platforms before they turned 21, spend more than 3 hours per day and suffer from mental health issues may be able to build a case against Instagram based on the lack of transparency regarding known dangers data researched by Meta.  Depending on the harms to a victim’s health, it may be prudent to consult with a Michigan Facebook lawsuit attorney at the Neumann Law Group who can explain when legal action is warranted and how the process plays out.

Hire a lawyer.

Michigan personal injury attorneys  at the Neumann Law Group must work to prove harms from Instagram and Facebook have negatively impacted a person’s ability to keep gainful employment. Proving negligence may require a variety of witnesses from the behavioral health, medical, technological design, and consumer protection specialties, in addition to collecting scientific evidence supporting associated mental health risks, crises and statistical death numbers related to social media.

Neumann Law Group

Traverse City

300 E Front St #445
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 221-0050
Fax: (231) 221-0051


  1. https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/part6/chapter171&edition=prelim
  2. About Instagram | Capture, Create & Share What You Love
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