Social Media Personal Injury Case Dos and Don’ts

In the modern world, social media has taken over the way many of us socialize, relax, and even get our news. According to Forbes, 4.9 billion people around the world use social media in some way. Unfortunately, social media can also become an unexpected problem for people with pending personal injury cases. Carelessly posting on social media in the aftermath of a serious injury can jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation. Our legal experts here at The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze have compiled this list of social media personal injury case dos and don’ts to help you regulate your online activity during a personal injury lawsuit. 

Social Media Personal Injury Case Dos

1. Do Switch Your Accounts to Private 

While nothing you post online will ever be completely private, switching your Facebook, Instagram, and other accounts to private can at least partially protect your information from the defendant and their legal team. You can check your current privacy settings and switch them to private in the settings section of your preferred social media services. Switching your accounts to private will at least make it more difficult for the defendant’s legal team to use your online presence against you. 

2. Do Scrutinize New Friend Requests

If you receive a new follow or friend request while you are pursuing a personal injury case, be careful. The request may actually be from the defendant’s legal team looking for information that can discredit your claim. Even if you are following all of the other dos and don’ts in this guide, it is still best to not accept any mysterious new friend/follow requests until your personal injury lawsuit is settled.

3. Do Be Careful of “Check-Ins” 

A particularly dangerous social media feature for those with pending personal injury lawsuits is the “check-in.” The check-in feature of social media services like Facebook and Foursquare can show the defendant’s legal team that you are participating in activities that cast doubt about your injuries. If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit that is based on the idea that you are injured and cannot participate in physical activities, a check-in at your local gym, yoga class, nightclub, or hiking trail on social media can be disastrous for your personal injury case. 

4. Do Advise Friends and Families Against Posting About You 

It is also essential to ensure your friends and family do not accidentally throw your personal injury case into jeopardy. It is not just your social media posts that can be used against you in court, those of your loved ones, coworkers, and acquaintances can be used against you, as well. Your friends, family, and other associates should avoid posting about you on social media for the duration of your personal injury lawsuit. 

5. Do Consider Taking a Social Media Hiatus 

You should consider taking a total hiatus from social media, if at all possible. While following the above dos and don’ts should protect your personal injury lawsuit, the best way to avoid making a costly mistake on social media is to refrain from posting altogether. If you must use social media, consider only using it to interact with what other people post instead of sharing your own content until your personal injury case is over. If you need to take a more active role in posting on social media for work, consult your attorney for more detailed guidelines about how to utilize social media without jeopardizing your lawsuit.

Social Media Personal Injury Case Don’ts

1. Don’t Post About Your Accident or Injuries 

It is a bad idea to post anything about your accident or injuries if you are in the middle of a personal injury case. These posts can come back to haunt you and can actually damage your claims. For instance, if you write a post immediately after a car accident saying you are “fine” without realizing the extent of your injuries, that post can be used by the defendant to argue you are faking your injuries for financial gain. It is best to avoid posting about the accident and your injuries entirely so you do not risk contradicting your testimony or calling the facts of your case into question. 

2. Don’t Post Anything That Contradicts Your Testimony 

Posts about the accident itself are not the only social media activity that should be avoided while a personal injury lawsuit is pending. Seemingly harmless posts about your everyday life can also present a danger to your case. Posts as simple as a photo of you holding your child, a video from the gym, or a comment about work can be used to question the legitimacy of your injury claims. It is best to avoid posting about your life on social media at all while a lawsuit is ongoing to avoid this risk.

3. Don’t Scrub Relevant Posts From Your Profile 

If you do slip up and accidentally share something that could hurt your case, don’t delete it. Deleting or “purging” information from your social media account can sometimes be considered evidence tampering, which is illegal. It is better not to post anything that can hurt your case in the first place.

4. Don’t Assume Anything On The Internet Is Private 

While it is wise to switch your social media accounts to private (see above), the defense can still see what you have posted through mutual friends or by utilizing a court order to force you to hand over your posts yourself. Even private messages can be accessed by court orders, so it is best to avoid discussing your personal injury case online altogether. 

5. Don’t Post the Details of a Confidential Personal Injury Settlement 

Even after a settlement has been reached in your personal injury case, you should avoid posting about the details of this settlement on social media. 

Get In Contact With The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you need experienced and compassionate legal representation to fight for your interests. Andrew S. Maze and his team of legal professionals are ready to advise and assist you during this difficult time. Contact us today!

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