Injured in an accident? Be smart about social media.
For better and worse, social media is simply part of our lives now. In fact, it is likely that you came to this blog post through social media. While Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media apps are becoming an ever larger part of people’s lives, social media can create trouble for people who don’t use it thoughtfully.
This is particularly true for people who have been injured in a car accident or other type of accident. If you have been seriously injured and will need significant compensation to pay for your injuries, insurance companies are likely to scour the Internet to find information about you. The information you present on social media could accidentally harm your case.
Social media tips after an injury
If you are in litigation involving a personal injury claim, you should take the following steps to protect yourself on social media:
- Check your privacy settings: For example, Facebook’s default privacy settings allow people who live near you to view your information, even if you have not accepted a friend request. If you have not done so, go to settings on all of your social media accounts and take appropriate measures to limit public access.
- Be careful when writing posts or status updates: If you make comments on social media, be aware of what you are saying and how it could be perceived. Public comments about your could be used against you, even if you did not intend to say anything inflammatory. For the same reason, avoid making public comments online, particularly if you are not in a good mood. Again, statements that you believe to be innocent could potentially be misconstrued against you.
- Don’t forget about pictures: If someone posts a picture of you doing something active, even if it was taken before your accident, the insurance company may question the severity of your injuries. It is a good idea to look carefully at any photos online and untag yourself from pictures as necessary.
Ideally, personal injury plaintiffs would stay off of social media while a case is pending. The next-best alternative is to be judicious about what you post, tweet and upload. Following a car accident or other accident caused by someone else’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct, it is important to work with a skilled, experienced attorney. I am Steve Crell. Based in Indianapolis, I work with individuals and families across the area.
Source: 14 Social Media Do’s and Don’ts: A Guide For Personal Injury Plaintiffs, Lexology.com, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP, September 16, 2016