As a society, we’re increasingly turning to online platforms to connect with each other. Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends around the world. It’s a way to easily notify your entire social circle about exciting news. It can also be a place to solicit support and vent frustration when things have gone wrong.
However, if you’re in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to fight the urge to air your grievances online – as such behavior can actually hurt your chances of winning your case.
Whenever you post something online, it’s permanently accessible – even if you remove it subsequently. During a personal injury lawsuit, it’s common for insurance companies to comb through a plaintiff’s online activity in search of evidence that contradicts their claim.
Here are some core guidelines for using social media while your personal injury lawsuit is underway:
Think twice before you post
Be extremely careful about anything you post online. Never disclose any information about your accident, recovery or lawsuit. In addition, refrain from posting any videos or pictures of yourself. If you are suing for pain and suffering, but you post a photo that makes you appear to be fit and carefree, this might be problematic for your case.
Make sure others understand
Talk to your friends and family about the above restrictions, and ask them to refrain from posting anything about you. In addition, be wary of any unexpected, unfamiliar friend requests. Insurance companies sometimes use fake profiles to gain access to your social media account – in order to hunt for evidence to discredit your case.
Double-check your privacy settings
Check your social media privacy settings, and make sure that your posts are only visible to your friends – and not to a wider circle of people. Make sure that no one else is able to “tag” you in their posts – which could link you to potentially misleading evidence. Finally, ensure that you never disclose your location online. It can look suspicious if Facebook shows you “checking in” to a dance party, when you are suing for a knee injury.
In this day and age, we are becoming increasingly comfortable with broadcasting our personal lives online. However, when a lawsuit is pending, taking a hiatus from social media can prove beneficial.