Given the social-media-saturated world we live in, it’s important to understand how social media can affect your personal injury case. This might sound like a laughable matter, however, it is anything but. It’s easier than most people realize for a defense attorney or insurance company to see what you’ve been up to on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or other social media websites. Making a social media mistake can easily affect and even destroy your entire case. Around 88% of Americans use at least one social media website regularly. The top five mistakes that people make on social media during personal injury cases are as follows:
Assuming That Your Social Media Posts are Private
Even if you have a private Instagram or Twitter account, or have locked down your Facebook posts with advanced security features, you should not assume that anything you share online is private. Often, interested parties such as defense attorneys and insurance agents can still find a way to glean information about you. Keep this in mind when using social media, even if you have not been in an accident. The information from these accounts can be obtained through subpoenas and other legal proceedings.
Posting Anything on Social Media Related to Your Case
Any discussion or information about your accident/legal case that is online can damage your case. Maybe you experienced a neck injury as a result of a motorcycle accident. If you post that you’re “feeling fine” or “OK”, this information could be used against you. The defense may claim that you were not actually hurt, especially if you share any photos of activities, or reassure friends and family that you’re okay after an accident. If it is related to your injury or your case, do not post about it! It’s that simple.
Letting Friends or Family Post on Social Media About You
If a friend or family member posts about your accident and goes into any specific details, it could be used against you in court. Do not let your friends or family make any posts about your accident. Also, do your best to avoid being “tagged” in posts while your case is ongoing. Defense attorneys and insurance companies are looking for anything to make your claim weaker, and their claim stronger.
Sharing Photos or Posting Right After an Accident
Don’t share anything directly after an accident. This can include something as seemingly innocuous as “just got rear-ended, thank God I’m okay.” These posts can be used against you in court. For example, if you post a picture of yourself smiling in the hospital, and say “feeling better already!”, the defense may claim that your injuries are not severe and that you do not deserve compensation.
Accepting New Social Media “Friends” During the Trial
Don’t accept any new friends or followers while your trial case is ongoing. There is the chance that the defense or insurance company is trying to get access to your social media history. We wish this wasn’t the case, but it might be. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Avoid Social Media Mistakes and Get Professional Representation!
Now that you know the top five social media mistakes people make during personal injury cases, it’s time to protect yourself. This means staying off sites like Facebook and Twitter, but it also means getting the best legal representation you can.
Thankfully, you’ve come to Marsalisi Law: Where Law Gets Personal. We aren’t just here to fight for you in the courtroom – though make no mistake, we will go to court to get you the best outcome possible – we’re your ally through a tough time.
Call us today at 727-800-5052 for a free case consultation with Frank Marsalisi.