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Recovering from an accident? Avoid social media.

Last week, your life was turned upside-down. You were driving home from work, when suddenly a distracted driver in the oncoming lane veered right into you—colliding with you head on.

The intervening days since the accident have been a whirlwind. After spending several days in the hospital, you’re finally back at home. Reality is beginning to sink in. You’re unable to get out of bed and care for your children, and you won’t be able to go back to work for several months. You’re suing the other driver for damages.

During such a time, you may be feeling despondent and lonely. It may feel natural to turn to social media for some virtual support. However, posting anything relating to your accident or your recovery can be highly risk for the outcome of your case.

Bear in mind that anything you post online – even in a private message or on a site with high privacy settings – is permanently available. If the other driver’s attorney – or the insurance company – can find posts that invalidate your claims of pain and suffering, they can use them against you.

It’s a good idea to avoid social media altogether following an accident – until the case is closed. However, if online engagement is something you’re not willing to give up, here are some rules of thumb to follow:

  • Don’t post any details about the accident or your recovery online.
  • Don’t post your location. It could look suspicious if Facebook shows you checking in to a dance club when you claim to have a back injury.
  • Don’t post photos or videos of yourself. Photos of you playing sports clearly throw your injury into question. But even photos in which you’re sedentary but look happy and healthy could be problematic for your lawsuit.
  • Ask your friends and family to follow the same guidelines—and ensure they don’t tag you in any such posts.

In this era of unlimited connectivity, defense lawyers can – and do – monitor plaintiffs’ social media sites to poke holes in their case. Keeping the above recommendations in mind following an accident can prove beneficial for your lawsuit.