Online social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are wonderful social tools for keeping up with friends and family. Yet for injured accident victims, they could become a real threat to your personal injury case. Insurance companies will often crawl social networking sites to uncover evidence to defeat your claim. Knowing what to post and what not to post on Facebook could make a real difference in the amount of money you are able to recover.
Anything you post on Facebook, Twitter or other online social networks, could fall into the hands of the insurance companies. Even a simple photo showing you having fun with your friends could be used as evidence to refute your claim. They will argue that if you are out having fun, you must not be seriously injured—and consequently do not need to be compensated as such.
Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Even when accident victims are able to enjoy themselves momentarily, they often pay the price hours later. In order to attend a nephew’s birthday party, for example, they may take their pain medications and smile. Yet hours later, they are in constant debilitating pain from their day out.
Before you post anything on Facebook, it is wise to discuss your personal injury case with your attorney. Your attorney can advise you on how to avoid social networking sites during your injury—or even use them to your advantage.
- Check your profile and privacy settings – be sure that your privacy settings are adjusted so that you have control over who sees your posts. Also, ensure that the pictures other people tag you in are set to an ultra private setting that you can monitor.
- Avoid posting about your lawsuit—do not discuss your case, the status of your claim, or your injuries on a social network.
- Do not post pictures—while your case is ongoing, do not post pictures of you engaged in any type of physical activity. Also, encourage your friends to avoid posting such pictures too.
- Do not accept new invitations—try to avoid accepting new friends during this time. A new friend could be friends with the defendant or working with them to obtain evidence.
- Remove some friends—if you don’t know someone well, consider removing them from your friend list. Also, if anyone works for or is related to the defendant, you might want to consider removing them from the list as well.
Before you make any changes to your Facebook profile or friend status, discuss your social networking plan with your attorney. He or she may advise you against posting anything to Facebook and may even ask that you refrain from all social networking while your injury case is pending.