Social Media Pitfalls | Personal Injury Attorney Madison WI
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media From A Personal Injury Attorney In Madison, WI
Social media is an important part of many people’s lives. It allows us to stay in touch with far-flung friends and relatives, experience our friend’s exotic vacations or simple, homemade meals, and provide support during the high and low times in our lives. Another thing social media can do is wreak havoc with a personal injury claim.
As a personal injury attorney in Madison, WI, I have seen firsthand how social media posts can impact personal injury cases. With cell phones within arm’s reach at all times and followers hanging on our every post on Facebook, it is all too easy to share, and sometimes overshare, sensitive information that would be better kept private.
Social Media and Personal Injury Cases
Social media has become a source of information and evidence for everyone. Not only are your friends and followers hanging on your every post, insurance companies and attorneys may be visiting your pages in the hopes of finding evidence that can be used against you if you are involved in a personal injury case.
How can they do this? Everything that is posted online is considered public information. In the case of social media, it is extremely easy to tie the post back to the author, even after they have been deleted. Anyone who has been injured in an accident and/or is involved in a personal injury case should be very, very careful about what they post online:
- Comments and status updates that seem quite different from the face you are presenting in court can be used against you as evidence that perhaps you aren’t doing quite as poorly as you say you are.
- Pictures and videos that have been posted or chat groups to which you belong may be offered as evidence that you are lying about your activities or the extent of your injuries.
These are just two examples of how what is posted on social media can be taken out of context or used as evidence against you in a personal injury case. The point is that anything you post to your social media accounts can and likely will be examined by defense attorneys to try and poke holes in your case or discredit you.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media and Personal Injury Claims
Armed with the knowledge that social media can be used against you, here are a few do’s and don’ts for social media usage that will help protect you in a personal injury case:
- Do Not post about the incident or send messages. If you claim a back injury, posts of you engaging in strenuous activity or sports undermine your claim. The best course of action is to remain absolutely silent about the accident, injury, or lawsuit. Don’t post anything about it. Don’t respond to inquiries (even in a private message). Don’t talk about your medical care or the treatments you’re receiving. This applies to posts, text messages, chat groups, and private emails.
- Do deactivate or discontinue use of your social media accounts. If you can’t trust yourself or your connections not to post about your injury or personal injury claim, deactivate the account. That way, you are certain that nothing will be posted about your injury or your activities or medical care under your name.
- Do check your privacy settings. If you plan to keep your accounts active, you should change your privacy settings to the strictest level possible. Allow only friends and followers that you have approved see your posts as opposed to leaving the posts open to the general public. Restricting access to your pages isn’t foolproof, but it does reduce the changes of your posts being seen and used against you.
- Do be aware that your friends may post about you. Friends may tag you in comments, pictures, videos, etc. and this information can be used against you, the same way content on your own page can be used against you. Rather than trying to police all of your friends, update your privacy settings to disable the ability of others to tag you.
Consult A Personal Injury Attorney In Madison, WI With Social Media Concerns
Even by adopting these best practices there is no way to be certain that your social media accounts won’t be used against you in a personal injury case. If you are involved in a personal injury case and are concerned about how your social media content may affect the case, contact an Eisenberg Law Offices personal injury attorney in Madison, WI for advice. Our team has over 35 years of experience in personal injury law and can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to prevail in your claim.