You might not realize that something seemingly innocent, like sharing a photo from your favorite band’s concert Saturday night, or being tagged in a status about enjoying the beautiful beach weather with friends, might come back to haunt you and negatively affect the value of your pending personal injury claim. As a matter of course, insurance companies are routinely checking the internet, especially social media sites, for information regarding injured claimants, to help the companies justify low offers. Here are some helpful tips to help ensure your post does not jeopardize your case:
Do Not Post about the Accident
It’s easy to want to share information regarding your accident and injuries to your friends and family through social media, but one post could jeopardize your case. For example, if your injuries are preventing you from your normal activities and you are seeking to be compensated as a result, you will have a tough burden to overcome if opposing counsel can find evidence to suggest you are still engaging in these activities, by viewing photographs or posts on your social media accounts
Do Check your Privacy Settings
Many times we think our accounts are private, when in fact they are not. Facebook is constantly changing account settings and the privacy settings can change without us knowing. Therefore, a post you might think is limited to your “friends” might actually be shared with a wider audience. Especially if you haven’t reviewed and/or updated your privacy settings recently.
Do Not Post anything about conversations with your Attorney
Nothing. Ever. The attorney-client privilege prevents attorneys from revealing confidential communications with their clients. However, clients can waive this confidentiality by revealing communications to third parties. Once you disclose the content of your conversations with your attorney online, the confidentiality can be greatly compromised. It could even be waived entirely.
Do Remind your Social Media Friends Not to Post about You
If your friend would not say it directly to the insurance adjuster or opposing attorney about you, request that they do not post it online. This includes photos and videos as well as written posts. Change your privacy settings in Facebook so that you have to approve posts before being tagged.
Do Not Talk to Strangers
Do not accept “Friend” requests from people you don’t know. Facebook now has more than 500 million users. Twitter has over 100 million registered users. And Instagram has 90 million monthly users. It would not be surprising to discover that a new friend request from someone you do not know is actually an insurance adjuster, investigator, or defense attorney attempting to find damaging evidence to use against you.