Imagine. You have just been seriously injured and you’ve come
home from the hospital, what is one of the first things you’re going to want to
do? If you are like me, one of your first instincts will be to go on social
media and let all your friends and family know that you are alright. I mean it
would be the quickest and most efficient form of communication, why not take
advantage of it? All you want to say is something similar to, “Hey everyone, I
was in a car accident recently. It was a bit scary, but I just wanted to let
everyone know that I’m – OK!”
Well if you’re planning on putting together a personal
injury case to help compensate you for the damages on yourself and your vehicle,
you may want to think twice before making that post, tweet, or Instagram.
For example, if you plan on arguing that your life has been
negatively impacted by the negligence of the other driver, then that simple
“I’m OK” post could directly hurt your case. Even for a simple car accident
case, there could be multiple experts involved on both sides. This can be
necessary to help frame the situation to the judge and jury. But while you want
to try to keep that frame as broad as possible, in order for them to see how
those damages affected your life; the opposing side will want to try to narrow
that frame and show that, in fact, your life wasn’t as severely affected, if at
To avoid having your case diminished by social media, here
are some social media tips that will help you avoid a situation like that:
AVOID TALKING ABOUT
Just don’t post anything! Even if you don’t think you’ll
pursue litigation, you never know what you might want as time progresses. Maybe
you feel fine now, or even just a bit sore. But down the road, you find out
that the car accident really did a number on your back, hips, and/or neck.
Later finding out that you will need medical attention. Pursuing litigation for
those damages could help alleviate the financial burden of your medical bills,
but those social media posts could prevent you from getting compensated fully,
if at all.
AVOID TALKING MEDICAL
Litigation can be a lengthy process. If you tweet out that
you only had a little backache, but later find out you also had some serious
whiplash. A judge or jury could think that you are just changing your story in
order to get more money.
AVOID TALKING BAD
ABOUT THE PERSON OR COMPANY THAT DAMAGED YOU
Yes, you were hurt, and it’s only natural you want to
express your frustration to others. But try doing so in one-on-one
conversations. Making an angry post about the person or company that hurt you
could be seen as evidence that you are just trying to be vengeful towards them
and may be asking for more than you need.
Easy tricks to
protect your social media accounts
While you’re in the middle of a personal injury case, here
are some tips you may want to consider:
Turn off the location settings. Sometimes when
you post something, it will automatically ping where you are and when you
Turn off the ability for people to tag you in
posts and photos.
Make sure all your social media accounts are set
Tell friends and family to avoid talking about
your case on social media.
But if you do accidentally make a post, don’t delete anything! Once it’s on the internet for a while, it
can be surprising at how a post or photo still turns up even after you thought
you deleted it. IF the opposing side finds out that you tried to delete that
photo or post, they could argue that you were trying to destroy evidence to
hide the truth.
Overall, the Golden Rule is:
don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want some attorney’s talking about in an
open courtroom full of strangers.