If you are pursuing a personal injury claim based on injuries you sustained in an accident, you should anticipate that the defendant’s attorney or insurance company (“defendants”) will conduct online searches to obtain as much information about you as possible. In particular, they will be seeking to acquire information to discredit your claim or minimize the extent of your injuries.
The most damaging information typically obtained by defendants is found on your social media accounts. This is because individuals posting to their social media accounts tend to provide various private details about their lives. However, they often do this without considering how this information might be used against them in court. It is for this reason that your social media presence has the potential to hinder or even derail your personal injury claim entirely.
Deactivate Your Social Media Accounts While Your Case Is Ongoing
Because of these potential pitfalls, we often advise clients not to use their social media accounts while their injury claim case is pending.
If for some reason you are not willing or able to suspend your social media accounts, you should be extremely cautious about what you decide to post. This includes any information that the defense may use to diminish the significance of your injuries.
For example, let’s say you are claiming that an accident has limited your mobility. You should refrain from posting photographs of yourself engaging in physically demanding activities. Such pictures would discredit your alleged injury.
Common Social Media Mistakes
Claimants may make a variety of different mistakes when using social media. The following list outlines the five most significant mistakes that you should seek to avoid:
- Assuming your posts are private. When posting on social media, you should assume that defendants will be able to access your posts. Social media sites typically have a variety of different privacy settings that limit the public’s access to your posts. However, there is no way to guarantee that your posts will remain private.
- Discussing your accident or legal case. Refrain from using social media to discuss your accident or case. Any information about your case that you communicate to others through social media, even seemingly innocuous information, can hurt you at trial. Moreover, any person that you communicate this information to can be deposed or called as a witness.
- Allowing friends to post about you. If you decide to remain active on social media, verbally inform your friends and family that they should not include you in any posts. Even if you are not the individual generating the post, information posted by others may negatively impact your case.
- Failing to search through old information on the Internet. It is important that you conduct an online search of yourself to find out what information is accessible to the public. Defendants will be able to access this potentially harmful information. So you should take it into consideration when developing your litigation strategy.
- Accepting new friends on your social media pages while the case is ongoing. Do not accept friend or follower requests from individuals that you don’t know. Defendants often create fake profiles. They may try to access your social media accounts and acquire information that could be harmful to your case.
Contact The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff Today
If you have an injury claim and don’t want to make these common mistakes, speak to an injury lawyer. Call The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff at (360) 900-1638 to learn more or arrange a free consultation.