If you’re like many, many other Americans, you ‘re in the habit of updating friends and family through social media. Friends, family, and “friends”, too. Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and so forth. The stork brought a new member of the family? Facebook post! Landed that great new job? Instagram it! Let’s face it: social media works, as far as that goes. It’s an efficient, low-to-no-cost way to stay in touch. But it isn’t very private. Thus, there are online risks if you’re injured in an accident. Social media and your case are a risky mixture.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR CASE
You can tweak your social media account settings for privacy, but there are no guarantees. It’s possible for anything you post on Facebook, for example, to surface after you make a personal injury claim. Defendants’ insurance companies are not eager to pay out damages. Hence, they routinely check out plaintiffs’ social media accounts. They’re looking for anything that can help them avoid paying.
WHAT’S YOURS IS MINED
One way insurance companies “mine” plaintiffs’ social media accounts is by “friending”, or following them. They are very good at this. They employ specialists who do this for a living. In the aftermath of an accident, any new friend request ( or follower) is suspect. That is, suspect, no matter how familiar or harmless he or she seems. Once inside your online world, anything in there is up for grabs. Even if you never post about the accident, your other friends/followers might. Investigators can snip and save screens, so deleting such posts may not help. And that’s not all.
SOCIAL MEDIA DISCOVERY IN FLORIDA
Florida law provides for discovery in personal injury cases. This entitles each side to learn what information the other side has. Thus, in principle, the defendant in your personal injury case may be able to require you to produce some or all of your Facebook content, for example. There have been cases in which a court required production even of deleted Facebook content!
In light of the foregoing, consider the risks posed by social media. The defendant’s insurance company lawyers want to show you weren’t hurt as a result of the accident. Or, that if you were, your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim they are.
Imagine the impact of your Facebook post, right after the accident, saying “Don’t worry everybody, I’m fine”. Or a relative’s post, weeks later, saying “Gosh you looked great at the ball game yesterday. I’m so glad you’re still able to play after that car crash.”
After an accident in which you were injured, resisted the impulse to post on social media. Instead, use your phone to call a Boynton Beach car accident lawyer. The initial consultation is free of charge. Moreover, you don’t pay us attorneys’ fees unless we recover money for you. At Silver & Silver, we know how to manage the social media factor. We know how to limit the other side’s discovery demands. Insurance company lawyers know our record of success over many years. We’ll make them take your claim seriously.