Anyone who is involved in a personal injury lawsuit should not discuss their claim with anyone except their attorney. This is especially true in regards to social media sites – such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. While these sites allow individuals to keep in touch with distant relatives, friends and even co-workers, they are not the place to air information regarding a pending personal injury suit.
Why Social Networking Is Forbidden
There are numerous reasons social media must be avoided during a personal injury lawsuit. Most importantly, the severity of the injury can be argued against because of what a person posts on social media. For example, an individual claims that they have a serious back injury that has prevented them from enjoying everyday life. But, on their Facebook profile there is a picture of them smiling at a ski resort. Even if the individual was not skiing and was only posing for a picture, the conflicting evidence can give the defendant’s attorney grounds to dismiss the compensation claims altogether or limit the amount of compensation they are entitled to.
As more individuals start using social media, attorneys and their investigators are using those sites to research the plaintiff’s claims and determine if there is fraud, conflicting statements, or additional evidence that may be relevant to the defendant’s case. They can go undercover and pose as a friend, read personal blogs, and look for any evidence possible to lower your compensation. If they cannot get access on their own, these investigators will use your existing social media connections to access your sites.
There are things you can do to protect yourself from these attempts during a personal injury case, including:
- Set your social media profiles to “private” – this means that only people that are your friends can see or access your profile and you are not searchable in the site’s index.
- Never accept invitations from strangers or people you do not know on social media whatsoever.
- Do not post photos or videos while going through your case and never allow others to tag you in their photos or videos.
- Do not make posts on social media about the case, progress of the case or even the outcome of your case when it is over.
Family and friends also must refrain from posting anything about you or the case online via social media – including on their own profiles. Doing so can be detrimental to your lawsuit. Also, keep in mind that most personal injury suits come with confidentiality clauses, so if you or a loved one speaks on social media after the case is resolved, you could have to refund your settlement and face additional penalties for breaking your contract.
Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.