Personal Injury Lawyer
Do you use social media on a regular basis, or perhaps you only check in every now and then? Regardless of how much you use social media, if you have been in an accident and are considering filing a legal claim, you should review the following tips from a personal injury lawyer. From this point on, it is important to understand that whatever you post on social media platforms could adversely affect your case.
Insurance companies and opposing legal counsel can sometimes obtain permission to review your social media posts and photos. If your profile is public, they can do so without the permission of a judge. Depending on the circumstances of your case, these parties may go through great lengths to obtain information that skews your case. For instance, if you are applying for workers compensation, your employer might review your social media. Should you be dancing on Friday night when you’ve claimed a hip injury at work, you might have problems recovering compensation.
As a personal injury lawyer we tend to advise clients to deactivate their social media accounts for the time being, or at minimum not use them. We know this is not always possible and suggest keeping a private, handwritten journal that is related to your accident. This should be kept private and entirely off of social media.
What You Should Not Do on Social Media
If you personal injury claim is active, or ongoing, it is recommended that you do not:
- Post any information about your accident
- Post photos or content that suggests you injuries are not as bad as you claim
- Make comments that could be perceived as you accepting fault, or partial fault, for the accident
- Make comments that put blame on another party
- Badmouth, insult, or put down any people, companies, or entities that could be involved in the case.
- Accept any friend requests from someone you do not personally know. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to create “fake” profiles for the express purpose of monitoring your posts.
What You Should Do on Social Media
Just as there are things you absolutely should not do on social media, there are also proactive steps you can take to safeguard the information contained on your social media account. In doing so, you can feel confident that insurance companies or opposing lawyers who may be building a case against you cannot access your social media accounts (unless they obtain permission by you or a judge). If you will be using social media after an accident, you should:
- Review your privacy settings often. Go through your social media accounts and set them to private. While your case is active, refrain from accepting friend or follow requests from anyone you do not know.
- Set ground rules for your friends, followers, and family. Be sure to send a private message, or call these people, about the situation. Ask them to refrain from tagging you in any posts. Even if an investigator cannot review information on your own pages/profiles, they might obtain details from other accounts connected to yours.
- Think before you post. There is a very fine line between what is public and private on social media – and the internet as a whole. In general, it is better to be safe than sorry. Before you post anything, take time to think about it. If you are unsure, it’s probably not wise to post it.
- Ask a personal injury lawyer if you have questions. If you were involved in any accident that could involve negligence, and you think you might have a legal case, you should consult a personal injury lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts as soon as possible.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and social media.