Posted on: 14 June 2022Share
Today's personal injury victims are often generally aware that social media can be a risk during their case. But what specific dos and don'ts should you follow in regards to your social media use and accounts? Here are a few of the most important.
1. Do Increase Privacy
One of the first moves any victim should make on social media is to boost all their privacy settings and awareness. Switch your accounts to the most private settings available to you.
In addition to changing your settings, be cautious about adding any new followers or friends. Attorneys and investigators may use fake information or pretend to be businesses, friends, or associates in order to gain access. So that business associate who wants to collaborate on LinkedIn may not be as innocent as you think.
2. Don't Delete Preemptively
Many people who worry that their social media will be used against them start deleting posts, pictures, comments, and even accounts.
However, before you do this, consult with a personal injury attorney. They may advise you to do some deletions, but you must also avoid violating rules regarding the preservation of evidence. Talk with your injury lawyer about any potential trouble spots in your past social media history.
3. Do Stop Posting
While your attorney may or may not recommend you change past postings, the best move now is usually to stop posting on most or all social media accounts for now.
Why? Even innocent pictures or comments can be misconstrued by the opposing side. Posting a picture of your nephew's graduation after a leg injury? The insurance company may ask how you can walk up the stairs to your seat. Out to dinner with friends? Your depression or anxiety claims may be challenged. Boozy office Christmas party? You might be painted as a drunk.
4. Don't Let Friends Post
Have a strong conversation with your friends, family, and coworkers asking them not to post pictures of you, comment about you, or mention your health in any way. Attorneys often follow social media links and connections to look for evidence in other people's accounts.
It's unrealistic to expect your friends, acquaintances, or followers not to accept new follower requests, so you can't really prevent investigators from combing through other people's accounts. But be proactive and regularly check to make sure no one adds fodder that may undermine your case.
Where to Start
Want more dos and don'ts for handling social media after a personal injury? Start by consulting with a personal injury attorney, such as William A. AndyLaw.