Posted by Guajardo & LLP on 03/11/2019

Why Personal Injury Attorneys Want Clients to Stay Off Social Media

Why Personal Injury Attorneys Want Clients to Stay Off Social Media

Personal injury attorneys want to obtain the best possible result for their clients in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. That is why attorneys often stress with clients the importance of minimizing or even entirely avoiding social media interaction during an accident claim.  

Different social media platforms have appeal to millions of people, but social media websites, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, are in the public domain. They can present compromising, personal information that attorneys for the defense and insurance companies can use to undermine your personal injury lawsuit.

Your Social Media Account Can Wreck Your Case

Sometimes the most innocent social media posts can wreak havoc with your lawsuit or claim. Let’s say you just were in a serious car accident and are suing the other driver for pain and suffering and emotional distress. But you are posting pictures on your Facebook page that show you smiling and enjoying the outdoors. Or, you post pictures on Instagram that show you enjoying an amusement park when your lawsuit says you have suffered serious back injuries and cannot walk easily.

The insurance company for the other driver will want access to the medical records related to your personal injuries from the accident. And the same is the case for your social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Both the insurance company and the defense attorneys will check your social media accounts for any hint that you are not as injured as you claim. Their purpose is to reduce the payout for your claim or deny it entirely. Not all of the information on social media websites is related to your personal injury case, but the comments, videos, posts and images can certainly be used against you.

Guard Your Privacy After Your Accident

Before you post any type of item on a social media account, remember that it cannot be easily removed from the public domain. Even if you delete the post from your account, it still can be found. Your Dallas personal injury attorney is your strongest advocate and will try to argue on your behalf about what information in the public domain should not be used by the defense.

But keep in mind that this is a rapidly changing area of the law. Depending upon the state and the judge, there may be legal access to virtually any social media activity that you have engaged in since the accident. It could be used as evidence against you in the claim or at trial. Even something as simple as a picture of you smiling with your family after an accident could affect your claim and ultimate compensation. The defense will argue, how can you be enjoying life if you are in so much pain?

Recommended Steps for Social Media Accounts

Many Dallas personal injury attorneys recommend that their clients completely avoid ALL social media websites while a case is ongoing. It is just too easy to post something that could hurt your claim. If you still want to stay on Facebook and so forth, at least follow these tips:

  • Never post any pictures or descriptions of your injuries, medical reports or drugs you are taking.
  • Do not talk about your claim in any way on social media. Never mention a word about it.
  • Do not talk about any company, person or entity involved in your case.
  • Do not post about how you feel emotionally or physically. Just a simple phrase, ‘Boy I feel better after my accident!’ could harm your claim.
  • Do not post any pictures of the scene of the accident or any damage to your property or vehicle.
  • Beware of letting people tag you on Facebook. This allows people to post photos of you enjoying life, etc., without your knowledge. These photos could torpedo your claim.

The bottom line from most personal injury attorneys is to avoid all social media interaction until your personal injury lawsuit is completed. If you want the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries, as your attorney does, help your cause and refrain from social media interaction during this crucial time.

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