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Dos & Don’ts of Social Media in a Personal Injury Case

Learn the Ins & Outs with Our Nebraska Personal Injury Lawyers

Everyone and their mother is on social media applications, sites, and programs these days. With the advent of the smartphone’s unprecedented rise in popularity, people of all ages have the world at their fingertips wherever they go. Paired with all the usual gadgets, this also means that most of America has a video camera on hand at all times.

While there are clearly enormous benefits to the technological advancements made in the last decade or so, there are also some unseen downsides. Most notably, how social media and constant connection can actually hurt your chances of seizing maximized compensation in an active personal injury claim. Say the wrong thing, upload the wrong photo, or get tagged in the wrong post, and you could be taking your own case out by the wayside.

Our team of Nebraska personal injury attorneys here at Berry Law Firm has comprised a list of the top social media DOs and DON’Ts and how they pertain to personal injury claims in the hopes of steering you clear from trouble. Of course, if you know you need legal help right away, feel free to contact us online or call 402.817.6550 for a free consultation.

What to Do with Your Social Media During a Personal Injury Case

  1. DO make certain that you have set all of your privacy settings to the highest levels possible. Everything you post is technically on a public place and “in plain sight” if you post everything publicly. The opposing counsel can type your name into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and use whatever information readily available against you, like a picture of you on a bicycle after you claimed to have suffered a broken leg in a car accident. With private security settings, it can make it impossible, or at least very difficult, for your posts to be spun against you.
  2. DO know everyone you have on your friends or accepted follower list. Random invites from people you have never seen before are probably not actually random at all; it could be someone representing or assisting your opposition trying to get access to your social media posts. (See the previous entry about privacy settings.) If you have already accepted more friends since your accident, go back and review those new entries to make certain you actually know who they are.
  3. DO use some discretion and caution whenever you upload a new post, video, or photograph. Assume that anything and everything you do in that public space can and eventually will be viewed by the defense, attorneys, judges, and jurors, if your case requires them. It might be tough for those of us who compulsively post everything on social media, but the best choice could be to stay off your accounts until your case concludes.

What You Don’t Want to Do with Social Media During an Injury Claim

  1. DON’T overshare too much information about your personal injury claim. You might not want to share any of it, even if you feel like you need to rant to someone. Your case is between you and your attorney – that’s it. Anything you decide to post, no matter how innocuous, could become fodder for the opposing counsel to use in a case aimed at discrediting your claim, raising your liability, or lessening your compensation. Your post also waives attorney-client privilege.
  2. DON’T assume accounts are off-limits just because you set them to private. In the dos section, we discussed setting your privacy and security settings to maximum. While this is a good idea, it doesn’t lock your social media sites and accounts up entirely. If there is strong reasoning to think you are hiding useful evidence in your accounts, the opposing attorney can request a judge to grant them access to your private posts.
  3. DON’T start erasing your posts left and right once you file a personal injury claim. A clean sweep of your accounts looks very suspicious, which, once again, gives the opposing counsel more reason to dig into your posts. If you do erase something pertinent to the case, it can be seen as attempting to destroy evidence, which could turn the jury against you. Also, don’t assume that erasing a post means it is gone. Social media sites have servers that can store your posts for a long, long time – your first post on MySpace is probably still on a server somewhere.

Remember: If you need help with your case, you can contact Berry Law Firm and our Nebraska personal injury lawyers at any time.