Social media following personal injury: how to protect your case
A serious accident can turn your whole life upside-down. One minute, you’re happy and carefree – and the next, you’re in a hospital bed, unable to work or care for your children.
When the accident is the result of someone else’s negligence, it can be easy to be overcome with emotions of anger and despair. You may want to seek sympathy or encouragement from your friends and family. And turning to social media may seem like the simplest way to solicit support from your entire social circle in one fell swoop.
While social media is an easy way to interact with all of your loved ones at once, it’s also a public platform – making it vulnerable to exploitation. If you’re in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit, the insurance company will likely be perusing your online activity, looking for any evidence that can discredit your claim.
In today’s post, we outline some basic tips for social media behavior during your lawsuit:
Never post anything online that relates to your accident, its impacts on your life or your lawsuit. Also avoid posting any photos or videos of yourself. Even a seemingly innocuous selfie could be used against you, if you appear cheerful but are claiming pain and suffering in your lawsuit.
Update your privacy settings on any social media account, ensuring that only your friends – and not your friends’ friends or the general public – can view your posts. Be cautious of any connection request you receive from an unfamiliar person. It could be a fake profile created by the insurance company, attempting to gain access to your personal information.
Make sure that other friends can’t “tag” you in their posts – which could link you to potentially incriminating evidence. In addition, never use the “check in” function to broadcast your location. If there is a Facebook record of you checking in at a dance club – and your lawsuit claims you’ve sustained a serious back injury – it could look suspicious.
Following an accident, your loved ones may be concerned about you and want to use social media to rally for you. This can also be risky to your lawsuit. Talk to your friends and family about the above restrictions – and ask them to avoid posting about your situation as well.
When someone else causes you pain, you want to make sure justice is served. If the injury occurs across the border, the case can become more complicated as the laws and insurance processes of both the U.S. and Canada come into play. Adhering to the above guidelines can help protect the integrity of your case. Discussing your situation with a lawyer experienced in cross-border injuries is an important step to take.