Social media has quickly become the melting pot of all connections and communications. For many of us, hardly a day passes without posting photos, writing comments, or simply scrolling through social media.
However, all these seemingly harmless activities can greatly hurt your pending personal injury lawsuit case. The opposing party can use your postings to water down the case and reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible to get. The court or insurance agency may even deny your claim entirely depending on your postings.
Considering this, it is only logical to take a social media break until you resolve your case. You should also ask your close friends, family and confidants not to post anything relating to the accident or you. The defendant’s attorney can be cunning and use any social media post (even those unrelated to your injury) out of context, and twist them in their favor.
A professional personal injury attorney can advise you on the use of social media and help you navigate through your case until you receive your rightful compensation.
Why Social Media Privacy Settings Do Not Protect You
Many people assume that since social media platforms offer account privacy settings, they can post anything they want without sharing with the public. The truth is that you cannot rely on these settings to keep your posts confidential.
As soon as you post to social media, your photos or comments become public even if you limit your postings to a few friends. An agent from the insurance company may be on your friends’ list meaning you are not safe.
Even if you have 300 friends on your social media account, they are not the only ones who can view your postings. The “friends of friends” privacy settings allow other people not on your friends’ list to view your postings.
If each of your 300 friends has 300 unique friends, then it means your postings are accessible by over 90,000 people! Any of these people can take a screenshot of your images and share with other people without your knowledge or consent. In the end, your photos and comments may find their way to the opposing party and they may use it against you in a court of law or when filing for an insurance settlement.
In addition, most insurance companies normally browse through various social media accounts on the grounds that they are looking for admissible evidence. They may even get a court order asking to access your social media accounts in search of evidence. Something unrelated could turn out to be relevant to your injury case. For instance, photographs of you partying and dancing at a bar can destroy your claim for injury compensation.
You are strongly advised not to engage in social media. However, if you feel you must connect with friends or business associates, then you should follow these guidelines:
- Your postings should not include anything about your injuries or the accident
- Ask your family and friends to follow the same prohibition
- Always use the most limited privacy settings
- When posting anything, imagine how it can be used against you in the courtroom
- Ignore any new friend requests or invitations while your claim is pending
Feel free to contact a professional personal injury attorney for advice on how to handle yourself on social media during a pending damages claim.