What Should I Avoid Saying on Social Media?
Are you a devoted social media poster, or one who just checks in now and again? Either way, if you've been injured in an accident and are considering filing a legal claim, it's important to understand that what you publish on those platforms can potentially affect your case.
That's because insurance companies and even opposing counsel members are in some instances permitted to monitor your social media to access posts and photos —sometimes going to great lengths to obtain information that can skew the case in their favor.
For example, if you were injured at work and are receiving workers' compensation benefits, your employer's insurance company is permitted to spy on you—which includes monitoring your social media activity.
In a perfect world, we'd advise every client to simply deactivate their social media accounts, but we understand that isn't always possible. We recommend that you instead keep a journal related to your accident and injuries, including photos—and keep it private.
4 Things NOT to Do on Social Media During a Case
If you must continue to post on social media during your case, DON'T:
- Post information about your accident or any photos that may suggest the injury you suffered is not as serious as you claim—even the simplest actions can be taken out of context
- Make comments that can be perceived as accepting responsibility for your accident, or placing blame on another party.
- Badmouth other people or companies involved in your case—complaints or other negative language may enhance the insurance company's case.
- Accept friend requests from people you do not know personally—insurance investigators often create fake online profiles for the express purpose of spying on you.
4 Social Media Dos for Injury Victims
There are also some proactive steps you can take to ensure the information you post on social media isn't accessible to insurance agents and other people potentially building a case against you. If you continue to have a social media presence as your case proceeds, DO:
- Check your privacy settings. If you're on Instagram, set your account to private, and refrain from accepting follow requests from people you don't know. If you have a Facebook account, set your privacy settings to "friends only" instead of "friends of friends" or "public." On Twitter? Then make your account private, so people will have to send you a follow request—allowing you to decide whether they can access your tweets.
- Set ground rules with family and friends. Ask them not to tag you in posts, photos or videos during your case. If an investigator is unable to access your information through your account, it's possible that they will be able obtain details through other accounts.
- Think twice before posting. The line between what's private and what's public on social media—and the Internet in general—has long been a matter of intense public debate. Please remember that it's always better to be safe than sorry. Carefully consider anything you post, and ask yourself before publishing if it's something that can negatively affect your case and money you could be entitled to receive for your injuries.
- Seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney if you have any questions. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, and believe you could have a legal case but aren't sure how to proceed, call Edgar Snyder & Associates today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will help answer all your legal questions, including how your social media posts could affect your claim. Call us today for a free case review. We're available 24/7 to help you, there's never an obligation to use our services, and there's never a fee unless we get money for you!