Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat. A recent study indicated that 65% of adults use social networking sites, and that number has been steadily rising over the past decade.
What does that have to do with a personal injury or workers’ compensation case? Well, while you may enjoy keeping your friends and family updated with what is going on in your life, they may not be the only ones following you online. Insurance companies, defense attorneys, and even your employer may be checking out what you post.
You may think you can avoid anyone other than your “friends” seeing your posts by setting your account to private. But, nothing is truly private online. There are many ways that others can access the information in your social media accounts, and the opposing party in your case will do anything that they can to gain access.
What sorts of posts are a problem? Here are a few examples:
- You claim to have suffered a severe shoulder injury, but you post a video of yourself throwing a baseball.
- Or you are claiming a back injury, and have testified in a deposition that it is hard for you to sit or stand for more than 10 minutes at a time without experiencing severe pain. However, during that time, you tell your friends on Facebook about your recent trip to Disneyworld and brag about riding Space Mountain 6 times in one day.
It doesn’t need to be anything as bad as these examples. Anything you post can possibly be twisted by the other side in your case to cast doubt about the legitimacy of your claim.
How can you prevent something like this from happening to you? The best thing to do would be to suspend all your social media accounts and ask family and friends not to post anything about you while your case is ongoing.
Now, I know this isn’t realistic for many of you. If you aren’t able or willing to stop using social media for several months following your accident, at least keep the following guidelines in mind regarding your posts:
- Don’t accept any new friend requests after an accident.
- Never, and I repeat never, post any information or thoughts related to the accident.
- Do not post any photos of yourself.
- Set all accounts to private.
Social media is a great way to keep in contact and follow what’s going on. But, there are those people out there who will try to use what you post or is posted about you to their advantage, and to the detriment of your claim. It is important that you are aware of this, and are careful what you put out there following an accident.
Learn more about how social media can affect your injury case.