No matter where you go these days, it’s rare to find someone who isn’t staring at their phone. As a society, we have become addicted to our devices – and our constant virtual connectedness.
You probably already know it’s dangerous to use your cell phone while driving. However, there is another time when using your cell phone could prove to be a costly mistake: after you’ve been injured in an accident.
Social media can hurt your case
You may be lying in a hospital bed, bored. It could be tempting to pull out your phone and post about your situation. However, it’s important to remember that anything you post can be used against you by the insurance company or the other party’s lawyer.
Sharing anything on social media – photos, videos, posts or private messages – leaves a permanent record on the internet, even if you later delete it. Assume that any of this information can be accessed by the defendant’s lawyer. In general, follow these guidelines:
- Don’t discuss the injury or your recovery online at all.
- Don’t post photos or videos of yourself following the accident – which a lawyer could use to demonstrate that your injuries are less serious than you claim.
- Ask your family and friends to refrain from posting anything about your accident – and certainly to avoid tagging you in any such posts.
- Change your privacy settings so that your posts are only visible to your friends, and other friends can’t tag you in their posts without your permission.
- Don’t accept any new friend requests from people you don’t recognize. You never know whether the defendant’s lawyer may use a fake account to try to gain a glimpse into your posts.
- Consider temporarily shutting down your social media accounts while your case is underway.
In the social media era, we’ve become accustomed to putting our lives on display. However, following an accident, such behavior can prove extremely detrimental to your case. It’s best to only discuss the details of your case with your lawyer until your lawsuit has concluded.