Social media is an incredible tool. It can be used positively for sharing articles or pictures and communicating with loved ones. But it can also be used against you during a personal injury case. This is something that many people don’t think about, especially if they think their accounts are “private.”

For example:

  • If you post photos of yourself on a backpacking trip after filing a personal injury claim, the insurance adjuster can use that information against you.
  • Photos and posts can be used to question the truthfulness of your claim.

The best way to minimize this risk is  avoiding social media for the duration of your case. But we understand that that is not always a plausible solution. Here are a few tips to help you prevent social media from ruining your case:

Facebook

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  • Know your privacy settings
    • These can be found in the top-right corner of your Facebook page. Click “Settings,” then “Privacy” and tighten your privacy restrictions.
  • Know your audience
    • The audience selector tool is directly left of the “Post” button. “Friends Only” is the most private option.
    • You can create a “list” if you wish to allow only a very specific set of people see a post. This option is found under the “Friends” tab. Click on “more,” then “create list.”
    • If you believe that a photo or post could be taken out of context and used against you during your case, think twice before posting.
  • Timeline Review
    • This is a good feature to have during a pending case. Timeline Review notifies you when a friend has tagged you in their posts and lets you decide if you would like it to appear on your own individual Timeline.
    • Be aware that even if you “un-tag” yourself, a post may still appear on other people’s profiles.
  • Know who your “friends” are
    • Consider looking through your friends and reviewing how close you actually are. If you’ve never met a person face-to-face, they could be connected to someone who wants to harm your case.
Twitter

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  • Your Tweets are set to “public” by default
    • This means that unless you make your Tweets private, anyone can see them. They don’t even need a Twitter account to see what you share.
    • If you set your Tweets to private, each new follower will have to be approved by you.
  • Be careful accepting followers
    • If you don’t know who they are, you don’t know their intentions. You don’t need to be paranoid, but it is better to be cautious until your case is over.
  • Protect your tweets
    • Go to “Security and Privacy Settings.” Select “Tweet Privacy” and check the box titled “Protect my Tweets.”
    • Be cautious when you tweet, even if your settings are on private.
Instagram

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  • Your photos and videos are set to public by default
    • They can be seen by anyone with an Internet connection- using the Instagram app or just online.
    • You can set your posts to private only through the Instagram app.
    • To make your pictures and videos private, open the application on your phone and tap the profile icon in the bottom-right corner. Under “Account,” there is an option for “Private Account.”
  • Private photos and videos can still be seen publicly 
    • If you share them to other social media sites like Facebook, they may still be publicly available.
    • Make sure all of your social media settings are private.
  • Don’t accept a follow request from someone you do not know
Blogger
  • Blogger.svgYour blogs are set to public by default
    • Anyone can read them.
    • You can make your blogs private through the “Settings” tab. Go to the “Blog Readers” section and click “Edit.” You can then decide who gets to see your blog entries.
  • It is better not to write any information about your case
    • It may be helpful to imagine your entries being read in open court. Would you be comfortable? If not, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution and not post it.

Insurance adjusters will do all they can to get as much information about you as possible. A seemingly innocent post on social media can easily backfire and hurt your case. Your safest option is to stay away from social media completely while your claim is being settled. Since that is unlikely, do your best to not mention your personal injury claim. When in doubt, don’t post!

If you have questions about your personal injury case, let us know. We are dedicated to providing effective, affordable representation to our clients.

Photos via Google Images (124) and Flickr (3,5)

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