Many people use various social media platforms to keep in touch with friends and family. They may also go on these sites for community support after being injured. However, insurance companies and defense attorneys often troll through these platforms to find ways to try and discredit or deny a claim. This is why it is important to understand the do’s and don’ts of using social media after a personal injury.
If you would like more information on how to protect your claim, contact an experienced Silver Spring personal injury lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan. We can provide you with tips on social media use and other strategies for protecting the value of your claim.
Social Media and Your Privacy Rights
While many personal injury lawyers have tried to prevent damaging evidence from being used against their clients by advancing compelling arguments about privacy settings and the right to privacy, courts have ruled time and time again that social media information is often fair game. These courts conclude that even when accounts are set to private there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Once a person makes the decision to share information on social media – even with a small group of carefully selected individuals, he or she gives up the expectation that the information will be private. Therefore, you can expect anything that you post on social media to potentially be found by anyone at any given time.
How You Can Hurt Your Claim on Social Media
Social media content can hurt your claim because the information can often be misconstrued or used against you. For example, if you tell a relative that you are doing OK on social media after an accident, the insurance adjuster or defense attorney may try to use this innocent comment to refute the severity of your injury or the existence of your injury altogether.
In other situations, claims adjusters or defense attorneys may try to discredit the pain and suffering and mental anguish you have experienced after an accident. They may look for information that contradicts these allegations, such as posts of you smiling, vacation photos, or recent outings with friends as evidence that you have not suffered to the extent you are claiming.
Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Claim for an Injury
There are many ways that you can better manage the information you share on social media during a pending personal injury claim. Some of the do’s of social media use include:
- Quit social media – The easiest way to make sure what you post is not used against you is to completely eliminate social media use while your case is pending. If you cannot quite do this, do limit what you post and only post things that are factual.
- Adjust your privacy settings – While this tactic does not necessarily guarantee that your social media posts will not be used against you, it may be able to prevent a fishing expedition on your social media accounts by only allowing people you know to view your profile.
- Ask for privacy – Ask your friends and family on social media not to tag you in any videos or photographs or discuss information about your accident or injury online.
Some things that you should avoid doing on social media while your case is pending include:
- Not posting information about your case – Avoid posting any pictures of your injuries, details on your medical diagnosis, discussions with your attorney or conversations you have had with other people involved in your case.
- Not admitting fault for the accident – Avoid taking any responsibility for the accident or mentioning what you were doing at the time of the accident.
- Not contacting other parties involved – Parties should not communicate with each other during litigation. Any form of contact should be between the lawyers of each party.
Learn More About How to Protect Yourself
At Goldberg Finnegan, we assist you with every aspect of your claim, from start to finish. We can give you guidelines to follow regarding your social media use and how to protect your rights while your personal injury case is pending.
We work closely with our clients to provide a customized legal strategy. We can explore all of your legal options during a free consultation. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you do not have any upfront fees and you only pay for our services if we help you recover compensation for your case.