Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, can be an effective tool for staying in touch with old friends or relatives. However, if you are involved in any sort of personal injury case, you should be very careful with the information you post to your various social media accounts. As a general rule, anything you post to the internet is permanent and can potentially be used against you. The best thing to do after an injury is to avoid posting to social media altogether and reduce the risk of doing something detrimental to your claim.
For example, say you were involved in a car accident in the past few weeks and you have filed a claim against the opposing driver. You claim to have been seriously injured in the accident and can no longer do some of the things you enjoy doing, such as riding your bike or swimming laps or anything. Even the slightest indication from a social media picture or post could contradict your injury claims; whether it is a picture of you on your favorite hike or a post on a friend’s Facebook wall asking if they want to play soccer on Wednesday. Nearly everything you post on social media will not help your case, but many things can hurt you.
Ideally, you should not say anything regarding your accident or injury using any of your accounts. Also, it is very important that you DO NOT DELETE your accounts or anything that has been posted since your accident. If you delete something that you think may hurt your case, it could be considered destroying evidence and could be very damaging to your claim.
Remember, anything you post to the internet can potentially be used against you, so beware!
What Should You Do to Protect Yourself
Here is a list of some suggested steps you should take with all of your social media accounts, even prior to an accident. These suggestions will help you protect yourself and ensure that you do not mistakenly disclose information that should be kept confidential.
- Do not post anything related to your injuries, the accident, or the other person who may have injured you. This includes uploading videos/photos, or responding to friends’ posts regarding your accident or injuries.
- Check your privacy settings on all applications and ensure they are not set to “public”. The only people that should be allowed to view your various accounts should be the friends you have approved. Increase your privacy settings as much as possible.
- Do not accept friend/follower requests from people that you do not know.
- Do not remove posts or alter your social media accounts in any way after you have been involved in an accident, which could be deemed as tampering with or destroying evidence.
This short list will not ensure that you are fully protected or that an opposing party will not be able to find information about you, but it may help limit the information they can find and use as evidence against you. The only way to avoid negative evidence being found is to avoid the temptations of social media altogether.
If you have any questions about your social media accounts or how they can impact any possible future claim, please contact us so that we can assist you.