Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Social media – including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – are more popular than ever. In fact, some experts report that it is the most common activity that users perform online. Most people use social media with such regularity that they give little thought to the content that they are posting and the privacy settings of the platforms that they are using. Consequently, many people forget that the information that they display on social media platforms is visible to the public, which can be particularly detrimental if a person is injured in a car crash or other personal injury accident. In the course of a claim investigation, insurance companies often hire investigators to help them find information about an injury victim that could be used by the insurance company to deny or reduce the claim. The investigators often search social network sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, for information that could be used against the injured person in the course of the claim process or personal injury lawsuit. Accordingly, if you were involved in a personal injury accident, the safest thing to do is avoid all social media interactions for a period of time following the accident. If you must continue using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you should take great care to control the content that is on your own profile and the content that is linked to you. Unfortunately, an estimated 25 percent of users on Facebook do not use privacy controls, which means that photos and information about the user can be seen by anyone and everyone. For instance, a defendant could use photos of you dancing at a wedding to dispute the severity of your injuries or use a status update about a family vacation to dispute the financial impact of your injuries. Other preventative actions to take with respect to social media include:
- Do not post photos; ask your friends to avoid tagging you in their photos.
- Do not, under any circumstances, post any information about your lawsuit or legal proceedings on social media. Doing so can destroy the attorney-client privilege and sabotage your legal claims.
- Google yourself to see what kind of information can be found when a defendant or opposing counsel looks for information.
- Monitor your friends’ activity to ensure that there is not questionable information about you on their social medial platforms.
- Maintain honesty and accuracy with your communications, both verbally and via social media.
At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago personal injury lawyers focus on helping accident and injury victims obtain full and fair financial recovery. After undertaking a comprehensive factual investigation and a thorough legal analysis, we will advise you on how to proceed and advocate on your behalf in connection with any legal claims. Our comprehensive legal services include guiding you through the entire legal process, including the ways in which social media and other actions can impact your claim. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of negligence, do not hesitate to contact Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago personal injury lawyers. Additional Information:
- How Social Media Can Impact a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- 10 Common Mistakes after a Personal Injury Accident and How to Avoid Them
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.