Nearly everyone uses social media in some capacity these days. According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2015, about 65% of adults log into social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Two years later, this number has undoubtedly risen. This relatively new favored pastime is a great way for friends and family to stay connected, share experiences and photographs, or simply talk about their day. If you are in the middle of a personal injury claim, however, this seemingly innocuous act can irreparably damage your case and rob you of the compensation you deserve.
It is natural to want to share the details of your life on social media, but you should always think twice before sharing any details relating to your injury or case on social media. The defense attorney will use everything possible, including your social media posts, to discredit your claims. Information that was once difficult to obtain is now easily accessible, making social media a dream come true for insurance adjusters and defense attorneys.
While it is best that you refrain from using social media at all during this time, some might feel this is not possible. If that is the case for you, remember that there are some things you should absolutely never do if you do continue to use social media.
- Whatever you do, never post anything about your claim or accident, including any meetings you might have with your attorney. You should also never post about your doctor visits or interactions with your insurance company. Nothing good can come from divulging so much personal information online.
- Never post photos or videos of your injury or the damage sustained. You might want to show that gnarly wound or broken bone, but you should resist the urge to do so. If you really want to share it, do it in person instead of sharing it across all of your social media platforms. If you are tagged in pictures, ask that they be taken down or untag yourself.
- Do not reply to anyone else’s post about your circumstances. If you see a post about your injury on social media, do not reply. Instead, contact that person outside of social media and ask them to not discuss your case.
Here are some tips on what you should do:
- Change the privacy settings so that only your friends can view your posts. However, even when heightened privacy settings you should be wary of what you choose to post.
- Tell your friends and family not to post anything related to your situation. This includes any photos of the accident, your injuries, or damages, as well as videos or status updates. For example, if you sustained serious injuries and your sister posts about having a fun night out dancing with you, this could severely handicap your case,
- Before your case goes to litigation, be sure to remove anything from your past posts that might be misinterpreted and used against you. It is important to do this prior to litigation since a judge might prevent you from making changes to your accounts once a case gets started.
Remember that this is not about distorting or hiding the truth, but rather about keeping them from mischaracterizing or taking something out of context simply to prevent you from obtaining compensation. While changing your privacy settings is a good idea in general, you should keep in mind that it is possible for a judge to order a plaintiff to turn over usernames and passwords for your social media accounts. In fact, in one case, a judge ruled that it was unrealistic for a person who posted personal details in such forums to expect them to remain private. With that in mind, it is important for you to always think twice about everything you post and share. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable with a judge seeing it. If the answer is no, keep it to yourself.
AUGUSTA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
At M. Austin Jackson Attorney at Law, our Augusta legal team has the knowledge, skills, and resources to take on a wide range of different injury claims. When you choose to work with us, you can expect to receive personalized, vigilant service and award-winning representation to diligently pursue every viable avenue toward compensation.
Contact our office to start exploring your injury claim options today at (706) 724-2661. We provide free, no-obligation case evaluations.