If you’ve been in an accident and are filing a lawsuit over your injuries, you might want to think twice about your social media habits. It’s nearly impossible these days to find anyone who is not active on at least one social media network, and many people post regularly without giving any thought to potential repercussions down the line. Years ago, defense attorneys would utilize expensive private investigators to flesh out dirt on plaintiffs. Now, social media activity can often hand the defense attorneys the exact materials they need.
Here are some things to remember about using social media when you’re bringing a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim.
Don’t Post About the Accident
While it may seem therapeutic to vent on your social media profiles about the accident, it’s best to refrain from posting anything about the accident, parties involved, etc. The defense is looking for anything to reduce the potential payout, and if you say something out of context that may be taken the wrong way, you can be sure that the insurance company will seek to use that statement against you. They may also try to bait you during a deposition using information from your social media profiles.
Pictures Can Be Taken Out of Context
If you’re off work due to a workers’ compensation injury or recovering from injuries sustained in a South Carolina automobile accident, do not post any pictures of you on vacation or participating in physical activities. Maybe your family took you out for a bit and you post a photo of you looking happy at the park or on the beach. The defense will point to this and claim you aren’t nearly as injured as you claim. No one will know that you went in a wheelchair and two members of your family had to lift you out for a few minutes just to get that picture.
Lock Down Your Privacy Settings
No one wants strangers, much less defense attorneys and insurance adjusters, snooping around their profile. Make sure you have your privacy settings so that no one can see your profile who isn’t already your friend and consider limiting the audience of past posts.
Don’t Allow Tagging
Have you ever gone back and uploaded a photo some months or even years later because you just found it or it made you remember a special moment in time? Well, it’s likely your friends are the same way. What if your best friend just discovered that hilarious photo you took at a party six months ago and uploads it and tags you today? You may have a hard time proving the photo wasn’t taken after the accident.
Retaining a South Carolina Accident Attorney
Having a knowledgeable South Carolina personal injury attorney handle your case can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s advisable to retain an attorney immediately to protect your interests and keep the defense from trying to undermine your credibility. Contact our team at the Elrod Pope Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and let us help fight for the compensation you are owed.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.