Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
For many people, social media is a part of their everyday life. It is a place to keep in touch with people around us and with current events, as well as a format for sharing information about ourselves. We can share our opinions, showcase our talents, and promote our businesses, all the while providing detailed information about our lives, habits, and routines. Unfortunately, some of this information can get into the wrong hands, where it can result in serious problems. If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, the information you share on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can potentially harm your case. When you have been injured in an accident or as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, it is important to be aware of the ways what you share on social media can be used against you, as well as how to protect your privacy when using these online sites.
The Impact of Social Media
According to the Pew Research Center’s Social Networking Fact Sheet, approximately 74 percent of all Americans engage in some type of social networking, including using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. While these sites can be a great way to keep in touch with others, the information you post could be used against you in the following ways:
- By insurance companies: A 2015 Huffington Post article indicates that social media sites are often one of the first places insurance companies go to when investigating personal injury and accident claims. Through your social media posts, your insurer may find the information they can use to dispute your injuries or your version of how the accident occurred. Time, date, and location stamps in posts may be damaging, and even the other pages you ‘like’ could tip off your insurer of a pre-existing condition that could harm your case.
- In court: According to a Journal News article, social media posts and photos are now being accepted into evidence in court proceedings, and can be used against you in a personal injury lawsuit. Any type of comments or pictures you display on social media could be used to cast doubt on either your character or your injuries.
Protecting Your Privacy On Social Media
According to the Internet security experts at McAfee, you can take steps to protect your privacy online by doing the following:
- Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know
- Make sure your social media settings are set to private, not public
- Be aware that information you share on one site may be linked to others
- Do not reveal personal information about yourself, including information about your accident, your injury, or any potential settlements being negotiated
Remember: what is posted on the Internet remains there permanently, and simply deleting an account will not delete the information that is out there. Use caution in the types of information you share, avoid oversharing information about yourself or the circumstances in your life.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you or a loved one has been injured, as the result of an accident or due to someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys can advise you on how to get compensation for your injuries while defending your rights and protecting your best interests. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we are available to help you; call or contact our office online today for a free review of your case.