Times are changing. Remember the days when you had to flip through that big yellow phone book, just to get the number of a potential client or friend? Those days are long gone, as it takes only a matter of seconds to type a name into a Google search bar to get far more than just a phone number. It’s pretty safe to say that having social media accounts is a way of life in today’s world.
If you want to stay up to date on trending news, be invited to the latest party, and even check on your child’s school activity calendar, you need to have some sort of social media account, preferably Facebook. But, there are a few guidelines that you should follow if you have a personal injury case pending. Like most things in life, there is a time and a place for social media, and our best advice to you is to stay off while your case is ongoing. Here are a few tips you should follow if you want to avoid having opposing counsel and/or the insurance adjusters from holding anything against you and possibly reducing the value of your claim…
1. Don’t rely on the Privacy setting. When it comes to legal matters, even the privacy setting on your social media accounts won’t protect you. A defense attorney may have the right to access anything that is on your social media platforms, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. When you are in the midst of a legal battle, assume everything could become becomes public or at least available to the other side during the litigation process.
2. Beware of the picture that you paint on social media. Photos can and will be used against you during your personal injury claim. We have had several cases where an injured client has testified that they were incapacitated in one way or another only to have defense counsel show a photo of the client either skiing, golfing, or engaging in some other physical leisure activity that contradicts the client’s stated disabilities. Whatever the client’s explanation, these seemingly harmless photos posted on social media platforms can have a very negative effect on the ultimate value of the client’s claim. If you truly want to be fairly and fully compensated for an injury that was by no means your fault, then stay away from posting about the amazing weekend that you recently had. And, don’t ever boast about the recent scar or battle wound you received as a result of an accident, as this too can take away from your truthful claim of the suffering that you have endured from the incident.
3. Think before you hit the delete button. It sounds contradicting based on the previous tips, but there is a good reason for this. Once a personal injury case has been initiated, your intent to scrub away past posts could be viewed as the intent to conceal, which could ultimately sabotage your case. Your posts may be used as evidence if they can reveal something about the plaintiff’s character, and if it looks like you went in and intentionally deleted that evidence, then it might not play well to a jury or insurance adjuster. The key is to not put anything even potentially incriminating on social media, to begin with. Whether you are hoping to be compensated for damages, or you are simply checking in on social media here and there, always think before you post.
While social media offers many perks in our lives from both a business and social standpoint, it could also cause you some major legal baggage. Think before you post and rid your profile of anything that can be held against you. Nowadays, we are so quick to share with the world, that we forget about the importance of privacy. Not everything needs to go online, and it may be beneficial to keep some aspects of your life private. It will certainly prevent your personal injury case from being diminished unnecessarily.
With offices in Chelsea, Peabody, and Newburyport, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or fully validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.