The last thing you want is social media affecting a case you have pending in court. However, it can happen. Did you know that your posts can be used against you in a personal injury case?
Use these tips to avoid that happening.
Do you have a personal injury lawsuit pending? Then, you need to be very careful about what you post on social media.
The defendant’s team in your personal injury suit also has access to Google and social media, including:
Let’s say you had a slip and fall accident in a store which severely fractured your hip. You file a lawsuit for monetary compensation.
Months pass, and you go on a cruise. You post pictures of yourself dancing up a storm on your Cancun vacation.
The store’s insurance company finds the photos. They bring them to court to show the judge that your hip is just fine. This is evidence that your lawsuit is frivolous and nothing is physically wrong with your hip.
You lose the case. And you could be in legal trouble for filing a bad claim!
The likelihood of social media affecting a case you have pending in court can be reduced with these guidelines:
1. Your Accident & Injuries Are Off Limits
Never, ever post about your accident, injuries, or recovery on social media platforms. A good investigator may find inconsistencies between your posts and what was reported to the insurance company.
These inconsistencies will be used against you in a court of law.
2. Be Very Careful When Posting Photos of Yourself
Remember, you’re injured. So, those pictures of you dancing on the cruise ship and running around Cancun shopping up a storm contradict your injury claims.
This could lead the judge to reduce the compensation you receive from your personal injury case. The insurance company can also build a fraudulent claim case against you.
3. Do NOT Accept New Friend Requests from Strangers
You never know who is actually behind those new friend requests in your notifications. It could be an attorney for the defendant or an investigator or adjuster working for the defendant’s insurance company.
So, until your case is closed, DELETE all friend requests from people you don’t actually know.
4. Ask Your Friends Not to Post About You
Did you spend last Saturday night at the club with your friends? Are you and your friends very active members of a Zumba club?
Well, if they post pictures of you at these events, the defendant’s team may find them. This is especially true if they tag you in the pictures.
So, be sure to ask your friends not to post any pictures of you on social media that could hurt your claims. The best route is to not take any pictures that could help the defense prove you’re not as injured as reported.
5. Search Your Name on Google
Want to know what’s already out there that can be used against you in your personal injury case? Simply Google your own name. Do Google searches as follows:
If you see Google search results that could harm your case, remove them immediately. Or, at least make them private until the case is closed.
6. Adjust Your Social Media Privacy Settings
All of your social media posts on Facebook should be set to PRIVATE or FRIENDS ONLY. Set your Instagram profile to PRIVATE. Take down incriminating posts on Twitter. And do not post yourself being physically active on Snapchat.
Also, keep in mind that even private posts are accessible sometimes. This is especially true if the defendant’s team became one of your “friends” without your noticing. So, the point is to be careful what you post on ALL social media platforms.
7. Suspend or Delete Your Social Media Platforms
The idea of “deleting” your social media accounts may sound frightening. But in actuality, clicking that “delete” button just “suspends” your account. You can come back and “reactivate” it after your personal injury case is closed.
Deleting your social media accounts makes any and all posts inaccessible. Therefore, your posts can’t be used against you in a court of law.
The key is to keep a low profile period. In the days before social media, local investigators followed plaintiffs around town and snapped pictures of them. Today, all they have to do is log onto social media and “follow” you from the comfort of their offices.
Don’t make it easy for them. You don’t want social media affecting a case you have pending in court. Never post anything that can be used to prove your personal injury claims are frivolous. If this is a problem for you, stay off social media for now.
Getting injured is stressful, and going to court only increases the stress. We can help. From filing to winning your San Antonio personal injury claim, our team provides the guidance and expertise that you need.