When you’ve been injured in an accident, consulting a personal injury law firm in Marysville makes sense. An experienced attorney can help you protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve for your losses, suffering, and pain stemming from your injury.
However, when you decide to file a personal injury claim, you should know that the other party’s insurance company and/or attorney will search on the web to get as much information about you as possible. More specifically, they will be looking for things they can use to minimize your injuries or discredit your claim entirely.
Generally speaking, the most damaging information about a person filing a personal injury claim is found on his or her social media accounts. This isn’t surprising; when you’re on a social media account, you’re likely to share private details about your life without considering how this information could be used against you in a court case.
It is important that you practice discretion in how you carry yourself online to protect your claim.
Social Media’s Impact on Your Personal Injury Claim
No one wants to pay a hefty sum for a personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys even make it a point to conduct a comprehensive background check on the victim on the chance that they can prove their side has no obligation to the other. One place that a part of these investigations is taking place these days? Online, on your social media platforms.
Your social media and your personal injury claim are in conflict with each other. Investigators will use the former to find evidence that will discredit you and your case. Anything you post online can come hurt your personal injury claim, especially when the offending party’s legal team is tenacious.
- A post that recounts the day’s events can be used to implicate you. There is a possibility that you admit
liability to the cause of the claim.
- An admittance of remorse is also an indication of liability. By apologizing for your involvement in the
incident, you are compromising your innocence in the situation.
- Any posts succeeding the incident that suggests that you are not injured or that you are exaggerating
your injuries can be used against your claim.
With the accessibility and visibility social media provides, it has become easier to disprove personal injury
claims. Your posts are even at risk of being skewed to work in favor of the offending party.
Why Is Social Media Use so Risky in Legal Proceedings?
These days, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who does not have at least one social media account.
Privacy is no longer possible with the advent of these digital platforms. As such, you can no longer hide from defense attorneys and insurance adjusters.
While text messages and emails require warrants to be accessed for court, your social media posts do not
enjoy the same protection. In fact, they are considered public statements regardless of your privacy settings.
This makes them fair game for any interested party. To protect your personal injury claim against these types of investigations, consider the following advice regarding social media responsibility.
1.) Deciding Posts Are Private
Even if your accounts are set to private, there’s no guaranteeing something posted there won’t appear to the public even if you meant it to be private. All the major social media sites have had issues with privacy settings in the past, and you could even accidentally make something public that you meant to post in private. Always assume everyone can see your posts, including the people working on behalf of the defendants in your case.
2.) Talking About Your Case or Accident
Any discussions you want to have about your case or accident should be done in private and never on your social media accounts. Anything you say there could be used against you later, even if it seemed harmless at the time you posted it or if you feel it’s common knowledge. On top of that, there’s always a chance that anyone you shared the information with could be called as a witness or asked to give a statement in connection with your case.
3.) Letting Friends Post About You
Tell your friends, family and other followers in person not to include you in their social media posts. Even if you don’t make a post, you can still be affected by it if you’re connected to it. If you find that a family member or friend can’t seem to follow this request, you will have to remove him or her from your accounts during the case.
4.) Not Checking Your Web Past
Search through old information about you on the web. Essentially, you need to do an online search of yourself to see what information the public can access. Since the defendants can access whatever you find, it’s important you disclose the results to your personal injury law firm in Marysville so they can consider them when they are developing your case strategy. Even something you feel is unrelated to your case or harmless could be used in a way you never anticipated, so be sure you tell your attorney about everything you found.
5.) Accepting New Followers
Never accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t know while your case is active. People working for the defendant may create a fake profile so they can access posts on your accounts that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. If you’re not completely certain where a follow or friend request is coming from, decline and/or block that person.
Professional Advice from Personal Injury Attorneys
As an experienced personal injury law firm in Washington, Feldman & Lee PS will minimize the impact of your digital footprint on your claim. When you hire us, we will dispense sound legal advice on how to proceed with your personal injury claim. This will include a comprehensive social media management plan that will likely involve a temporary deactivation of your accounts.
In the event of an accident, no matter the severity, you should always contact an attorney. In doing so, you will learn the most beneficial course of action for you and maximize the financial award that you are legally entitled to.
Aside from the initial filing process, our team of attorneys will work to make sure that your digital presence will not prevent you from getting due compensation from your accident.
To learn more, call us at (253) 859 2488 or schedule an appointment here.