If the unthinkable happens and a reckless individual injures you in an auto, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident, it’s understandable to turn to friends and family for support. You may feel encouraged to have loved ones with you through the process of finding a personal injury attorney, pursuing an injury case, and recovering from the accident. You may also feel relieved after venting to a friend via a phone call or social media post.
However, did you know it can potentially harm your injury case to post about the situation on social media? More than that, simply posting about unrelated thoughts or daily activities can lead to issues during an ongoing case. To help clear up the impact social media could have on your case, here’s what you need to know:
1. Opposing Counsel Will Look at Your Personal Social Media Accounts
Every dedicated personal injury attorney seeks to learn as much relevant information possible about the parties involved. With 72% of U.S. adults using at least one social media platform, it’s no secret to attorneys that social media can provide extensive personal information. It’s important to know that any posts related to the accident or any unfavorable information about you that exists online could be brought up by opposing counsel. Even if your accounts are set to private, the opposition may seek discovery of your social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others, if they believe the information is relevant to the case.
2. You May Unintentionally Contradict Police and Medical Reports
Let’s say you post on Facebook, sharing about the recent accident you were in. You might explain the details of how the other vehicle hit you and the types of injuries you or your loved one are dealing with. Even though you are only trying to summarize the events and injuries to close friends, you may have unintentionally contradicted the statements you gave to police or reports from your doctor. This could be used by opposing counsel to discredit your recollection of the accident or downplay the severity of your injuries.
3. Posting About Daily Activities Could Discredit Claims
Being involved in an accident can be traumatic and have devastating impacts on your mental health. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental distress related to the accident, your attorney can seek monetary compensation for your suffering. However, since mental suffering is more challenging to prove than physical injury, the opposition may try to discredit your claims. One way they could do this is by showing the kind of content you shared online during this time period. Typical posts about spending time with friends, going on a weekend trip, or walking your dog could be used to wrongly claim that you were not dealing with mental distress.
Sanchez and Piñon, Rio Rancho’s accident and personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable about what can and cannot impact a personal injury case. We can advise you on what steps to take if you are concerned about the role your social media may play.
What You Should Do On Social Media During a Case
With all of the potentially negative impacts social media activity can have on your personal injury case, it’s best to avoid posting any personal content until the case is closed. However, there are some steps you can take and tips you can follow to better protect information that is already online:
- Set all social media accounts to private. Double-check your privacy settings on all digital properties, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to ensure that information on your account can only be seen by friends and not friends of friends. Also, remember that there is no such thing as completely private online content.
- Do not accept follows or friend requests from people you do not personally know. They could be someone hoping to gain insight into your life for reasons related to the case.
- If you must engage on social media, limit it to interacting with friends’ posts such as by liking or commenting.
- Ask loved ones not to post any information about you, tag you in photos, or discuss anything related to your case during this time.
- Search your name on Google and see what kind of information comes up. This is a likely step the opposing attorney will take and it’s best to discuss the information with your attorney as soon as possible if there are any concerns.
- If you have already posted about your personal injury case to social media, do not immediately delete it. Let your attorney know and ask them what steps to take next.
- Remember that nothing you have posted to the internet ever really goes away, even if you delete it.
Have you recently been in an accident? Are you looking for legal representation to handle your personal injury claim? Contact Sanchez and Piñon, Rio Rancho’s accident and personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
While other attorneys talk, we listen and provide a personal level of representation. We can discuss how to fight for the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible party accountable.