Social media is an integral part of American life. Social networking and
photo sharing platforms are so common that most people don’t think
twice about “checking in” to a location or posting daily updates.
However, social media posts can pose great risks for accident victims
working with a personal injury lawyer.
If you have been injured in an accident and filed an insurance claim or
lawsuit, it is worth betting that the responsible party’s insurance
company or the defendant’s attorney will conduct an online search
to find out more information about you. They will be most likely looking
for information that can be used to deny your claim or downplay the seriousness
of your injuries.
Although you may be active online in a variety of ways, by far the biggest
online danger to most people is social media.
Everything that’s posted on social media is considered public, and
even the most well-meaning remarks about a personal injury claim could
potentially be used against a plaintiff by the defense. For this reason,
we’ve assembled the following social media guidelines for personal
injury plaintiffs currently involved in litigation.
1. Don’t discuss your case online
First off—regardless of what you plan on posting—it’s
typically a good idea to ensure your personal social media accounts are
set to private. This prevents outside parties from being able to easily
comb through everything you publish online. However, no matter what your
privacy settings, you should refrain from posting anything relating to
your personal injury case. This includes meetings, doctor’s visits,
and any interactions with your insurance company.
2. Don’t post updates about your injuries, treatments, or overall
Publishing updates about your injuries and treatments can potentially damage
your case. Updates can be taken out of context and occasionally viewed
in a way that diminishes your potential settlement. As a result, publicly
discussing any facet of your treatments isn’t worth the risk.
3. Don’t publish anything related to physical activities, including
traveling, while your case is ongoing
This should be a no brainer, but if you’re currently engaged in litigation
surrounding a personal injury, posting pictures of a recent ski trip,
hike, or other strenuous activity can be hugely damaging to your case.
Even if you’re dealing with chronic pain or still suffering from
serious injuries, pictures of you engaging in seemingly “healthy”
activities can induce skepticism and jeopardize your case.
4. If in doubt, don’t post anything
You might be sensing a pattern here, but if you have the slightest inclination
that a post could be damaging to your case, chances are you’re right.
Erring on the side of caution is a good rule of thumb, and you’re
not ever going to do harm to your case by simply staying silent online.
5. Counsel family members to exercise good judgment with their posts
Unfortunately, not only are you responsible for your own posts, but you’re
also responsible for the posts of any family members who might tag you
on their own social media accounts. Because of this, it’s prudent
to caution your friends and family members to refrain from tagging you
in any posts that may have a negative impact on your case.
In some instances, if a confidential settlement is reached, it can be necessary
to counsel family to adhere to the agreement and refrain from posting
anything that could be considered in violation of your settlement.
When it comes down to it, one careless update can have massive unintended
consequences. Exercise good judgment, think before you share, and make
sure you communicate the importance of wise social media usage to those
around you. There’s no reason to let social media get in the way
of resolving your personal injury claim.
Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Protect Your Personal Injury Claim
As an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, Board Certified Civil
Trial Lawyer Nadine Diaz and her team of top-rated injury lawyers has
been helping clients minimize the impact of social media on their personal
injury claims for years. Indeed, speaking with an attorney immediately
after your accident is the best way to learn what you should (and shouldn't)
do to maximize the financial award you may be entitled.
Don't let your social media feed derail your financial recovery process.
Be smart about your social postings and get better results today.
Call 813-774-3341 today to schedule a free case evaluation with our highly-experienced team.