Today I’ll share three tips for keeping social media from ruining your personal injury claim or lawsuit. You should know that if you have an injury claim or suit, your online life will become the subject of investigation by insurance adjusters and defense lawyers alike. It doesn’t matter if you live in Vermont, New York, or anywhere else – social media may not make your cast, but it can certainly break it.
Let’s jump into the role social media can play and what actions you can take to prevent it from ruining your claim.
How could social media ruin my accident claim?
Lawyers for the defense will carefully review any public social media you post, or posts in which you are tagged or identified. If at all possible, these posts – including photographs or check-ins, will be used to argue that the injury was your own fault, that you weren’t hurt badly or that you were already hurt before the accident happened.
What can I do to prevent social media from hurting my lawsuit?
You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do about it. Well, there is, and here are my top tips for avoiding social media problems when it comes to your injury case.
Don’t post about the accident or your injuries.
Rule number one, don’t post about what happened to cause your injury.
Just like they say in “Law and Order,” anything you say can and will be used against you, especially when it comes to the incident that caused you an injury. In some ways, posting online about your dog bite, car crash, or slip and fall is not all that different from giving a statement to an insurance adjuster.
Previously, I talked about some things to consider if you’re about to give a statement to an insurance adjuster. When you create a post on social media about your injury, you’re giving a statement about what happened; only you may not realize it. What you say and don’t say can have significant consequences.
That’s why people hire lawyers to help them prepare to give testimony.
Make your social media accounts more secure
Tighten up your privacy settings!
Just because insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will look at your social media posts doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them. Go through your accounts and adjust your privacy settings. Ensure only friends and family can view your content, at least until your case ends.
We have added some quick links to help you update your privacy settings on several different websites.
- How to update your Facebook privacy settings
- How to update your Twitter privacy settings
- How to update your Instagram privacy settings
- How to update your Tik Tok privacy settings
Changing your privacy settings ensures that insurance adjusters and defense lawyers can’t view your social media without your permission. In most cases, it’s an ethical violation for a defense lawyer to “friend” an opposing party just to gain access to their social media.
It’s also important to ask your friends and family not to tag you in their photos. I know this seems like a real pain, and many of you won’t do it for just that reason. But if your injury case is that important to you, consider heeding this advice.
Offer a balanced perspective of your car accident recovery
Finally, aim for accuracy when you post on social media.
If you’re watching this video and thinking, “I’m not gonna stop posting about my life, and I’m probably not gonna change my privacy settings,” this tip is for you.
If nothing else, aim to provide a balanced picture of your life. Consider that if your online presence tells a story, that story should include some aspects of your life that you’ve struggled with since the injury. Even if the post simply notes you have had a bad day or missed an event because of pain.
Posting difficult times helps put the photos and other posts about good times in context. The more your internet presence reflects your life’s actual ups and downs, the harder it will be for defense lawyers to cherry-pick the good days and argue that you aren’t suffering.
So there you have it—my top three tips for handling social media when you have an injury case or claim. You can keep your injury case on track with a bit of extra caution.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please visit us for our next article to help you understand your rights, and ensure the best possible outcomes after an accident.
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If you want to speak with experienced Vermont personal injury lawyer Drew Palcsik about your personal injury claim, feel free to call my office or send me a message using the contact form. I serve clients at Burlington, Middlebury, Vermont, and Plattsburgh, New York offices.