In this digital age, sharing our triumphs and struggles on social media has helped us stay connected with friends and family, especially during times of stress. However, if you are involved in a Florida personal injury case, your use of social media can hurt your chances for a successful outcome.
Insurance companies and defense attorneys are aware of the power of social media, and they often use it as a way to discredit your claim. They may search for any post or photo that could be used against you in court. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis can help you navigate this legal predicament and protect your rights.
The Dangers of Posting Details About Your Case on Social Media
A personal injury lawsuit is a matter of facts, evidence, and interpretation of the law. When you post details related to your case on social media, it can potentially be used against you. All of your posts are documented and public records that can be accessed by the other party’s attorneys or insurance companies.
For example, if you post pictures of yourself having a good time while injured, it doesn’t matter that you may have mustered every ounce of strength to feign a smile for the picture. They may use it as evidence to suggest that you are exaggerating your injuries or are not as seriously injured as you claim. Therefore, it’s best to refrain from sharing anything online.
What Types of Activity Can Be Used Against Me?
While your case is pending, you should be prepared to accept that you will be placed under surveillance by private investigators working for the other party’s insurance company. They will scour not only your profile but also those of your friends and family. They may even look into posts that you have shared or removed months ago, as social media sites often keep records of deleted content.
The investigators will likely search for any type of activity that could be interpreted as contradictory to what you are claiming in the case. This includes posting about travel plans, shopping trips, or any kind of physical activity. Even seemingly innocuous posts like photos of you on vacation can be used as evidence that your injury is not preventing you from enjoying life the same way you did before the incident.
Should I Delete My Social Media Accounts?
It’s not necessary to delete your social media accounts before filing a personal injury claim, but it’s a good idea to be cautious about what you post on social media. If you’re concerned about the potential impact of your social media activity on your personal injury case, you may want to consider temporarily deactivating your accounts or adjusting your privacy settings to limit who can see your posts.
In addition to monitoring your social media accounts, they may also follow you, take pictures of you, or record audio. With the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, you can defend yourself against such tactics and make sure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Can I Be Held Liable if Someone Else Posts Information?
There is no easy answer to this question. It’s possible that you could be held liable if someone else posts details about your case on social media without your permission, even if you have not posted anything yourself.
If a friend or family member tags you in an incriminating post, it can put you in an awkward legal position and potentially harm your case. It is best to inform your friends and relatives about the potential consequences of posting about your case and to ask them not to tag you in any posts.
How Can I Protect Myself on Social Media?
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from the impact of social media on your personal injury case. Take a few minutes and be sure to consider the following before you post:
The Fewer Details, The Better
Be vague and refrain from posting any specific details about your injury, diagnosis, treatment, or progress. Also, resist the temptation to amplify your story with exaggeration or embellishment.
The Less Visual, The Better
Avoid posting any photos of yourself that could be used to suggest you are not as seriously injured as you claim. Even if it can’t be seen in the photo itself, the date and location of a post could reveal potential discrepancies in your story.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Take a few minutes to adjust your social media privacy settings so that only people you trust have access to your posts. You should also consider setting up strong passwords on all of your accounts and enabling two-factor authentication for added protection.
Don’t Accept New Friends or Followers
It’s generally not a good idea to accept friend requests from people you don’t know during your personal injury case. If you’re not careful, someone who is connected to the other party in your case (or their attorney) could try to friend you on social media with the intention of gaining access to your posts and using them against you in court. It’s best to be cautious and avoid accepting friend requests from people you don’t know or trust.
Refrain From Engaging if the Other Party Reaches Out
If the other party contacts you through social media, don’t engage in any type of back-and-forth dialogue. Instead, alert your attorney immediately so they can advise you on how to proceed.
Monitor for Material Related to Your Case Posted by Others
Be sure to keep an eye out for posts made by other people that could be related in some way to your case. This will allow you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and make sure any false information or fabrications are not used against you.
The Personal Injury Team at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis in Florida Can Help
If you’re thinking of pursuing a personal injury claim, the attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis can provide the legal assistance you need. Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
We’re experienced in guiding our clients through every step of the claims process and seek to protect them from any potential pitfalls along the way. This includes helping with social media issues that could arise before or during the course of your case. Contact us online or call us at (407) 843-7060 for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your personal injury claim.