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.


Facebook at workThis summer, the State of Washington passed a social media law, effectively restricting an employer’s right to use and access their employee’s social media accounts. It also restricted their involvement in the social media activities of prospective employees. Oregon also passed a similar bill that went into effect on January 1, 2014.

Washington employees have a right to privacy—even on the Internet. These laws prohibit Washington employers from requiring, requesting, and coercing an employee or prospective employee to give them access to their social media accounts. This includes sharing passwords or login information, asking an employee to “friend” them, or coercing employees to allow you to view their social media account.

Employers were beginning to step over the line and snooping on sites like Facebook to gain personal information about employees. This information was then used as a basis for termination or demotion in the company or used to deny employment. Now, all employees have a right to privacy and should refuse any employer who asks to gain access to their social accounts.

Employees in Seattle should be aware, however, that this law does not protect the content on social media sites that is shared publically. Before you post anything on a social media site, be sure to check your privacy settings and ensure that you are not posting publicly. If a boss or an employer asks to “friend” you on Facebook, consider carefully before accepting this request.

If your employer has gained access to your social media accounts illegally or coerced you into sharing your password or login information, it is important to know that you have rights. An experienced Seattle employee rights lawyer can help you protect your privacy and ensure that your rights are not violated.

Contact Seattle Employee Rights Attorneys

If you believe that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, it is important to contact an experienced Seattle employee rights attorney. To learn more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle employee rights attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.

The employee rights lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented employees in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.