What To Do On Social Media After Filing A Personal Injury Claim
Usually, no harm is done from posting a photo or status update on social media, and other times, a lot of harm can be done from a single post. If you are involved in a personal injury case, here are 10 tips you should consider when it comes to your social media accounts.
Turn up your privacy setting
Each platform has different levels of privacy that you can choose from. We recommend you turn your privacy setting up to the highest one possible. By setting the level high, only your actual friends can see your posts, rather than friends of friends or the general public. Facebook has an awesome function called “View As”. This function allows you to see your profile how someone would see it as a friend or as a total stranger. This can help you better visualize what information you are releasing to the public and what information remains contained to your network of friends. One thing to note is that Facebook publically publishes your interests, regardless of if your account is private or not.
Archive content on your current accounts
It is important to preserve the current content on your social media channels. This is important because you should not get rid of any potential evidence. Destruction of evidence will lead to much bigger issues.
Discontinue using or deactivate your social media accounts
We know, it’s nearly impossible in today’s world to totally disconnect from social media. However, we highly recommend it for plaintiffs going through a personal injury case. If you cannot disconnect, archive your content and remove any information related to your injury or activities and refrain from posting on social channels until your case is resolved.
“Friends” are not always friends
If you’re staying on social media, it’s important for you to update your “friend lists.” You should only allow people that you know well to see your photo albums and status updates. If you do not know someone well or at all, remove them from your list and do not accept friend requests from people who meet those same qualifications.
Do not talk about or release any information about the case
This goes beyond social media. If you have to write it down, it’s best not to do it unless it is for your lawyers. Too many cases have been destroyed because of careless electronic messages.
Keep all of your computers, cell phones and tablets
Opposing counsel could accuse you of deliberately destroying evidence if you lose or destroy any electronic communications device. It’s easier to fight a battle about who can access your device, rather than having a judge tell a jury they can assume the contents of the missing or destroyed device were unfavorable to you.
Once you have archived your content, un-tag and delete any photos of yourself that are not simple head-shots.
Do not communicate in web chat groups or post on websites
There is a ton of great information that can be found in online support groups. We encourage you to read that information, and not to post any information of your own. Anything that is posted by you, online, is easy to find with a simple Google search. Please do not submit your information to dating or insurance sites, participate in private social media groups, blogs or chat rooms, or post on message boards.
Use your super power and become invisible
Facebook and Google offer easy ways for you to remove yourself from search results. With Facebook, go to profile settings and select “only friends”, which is under “search visibility.” You can remove your Facebook page from Google by going to your internet privacy settings and un-checking the box for “Public Search Listing.”
When in doubt, don’t post
You’ve probably gathered from the rest of these tips that exercising caution is key during a personal injury case. Whether you are wanting to post a status update, post on someone’s wall, tweet or upload a photo, keep in mind that they will be seen by a defense lawyer, a judge or a jury at some point.
Buzzell, Welsh & Hill
At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, we are experts at defending your case inside and outside of the courtroom. With over 90 years of experience in personal injury claims, we are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve and provide advice along the way. Contact us today!