Should I post pictures and videos of my car crash or injury on social media?
SOCAL MEDIA POSTS CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU
Anything you post, or have posted on social medial is fair game for the insurance company lawyer to use against you. The law is that your social media posts can become evidence in a lawsuit, and if there is any way to use your unflattering posts against you, your opposition can and will try to destroy your case by using your own social media posts against you.
It is routine for lawyers defending personal injury cases to check all the social media sites to see what injury victims have posted. Sometimes, they discover posts that demonstrate the claimant was faking their injuries. Usually, however, the posts do not cause a problem for the injured claimant’s case.
Even so, the safest thing to do may be to suspend your social media accounts during the entire time you are pursuing a claim. This may solve the problem, but for many people, this not a realistic approach.
We are all familiar with the fact that a social media post can go viral. We know what we post can be shared around the world if our profile settings are marked public. For this reason, you might think that making your settings private will fix the problem. After all, your social media account will tell you that using private settings means that only people you choose can see your posts. That may be true for an internet search because your posts will not go viral and they will not appear in an online search. But private settings will not prevent your posts from being used against you in a personal injury lawsuit.
You may not have any expectation of privacy even when posting to only a small group of friends. Once a lawsuit is filed, a defense attorney can ask the court for access to your accounts. While most judges will not give them complete access, they will order you to provide copies of posts, photos and videos that are relevant to your case.
Even though a court can order you to turn over your social media posts in a personal injury lawsuit, you should still change your settings to private if you are thinking of pursuing a claim. This will prevent defense lawyers and insurance companies from lurking and looking into your personal life looking at every post in detail without your knowledge.
Here are some simple steps you should take if you are going to post on social media:
Think before you post.
If you would not want a judge or jury to see the post, probably best not to post it.
If you already have unflattering posts that pre-date your accident, you may want to consider deleting them. Although it is unethical for a lawyer to advise someone to destroy evidence, it is unclear at what point something becomes evidence, so use your best judgment if you are unable to speak with a lawyer before deleting posts.
Remember to check the posts of family and friends, because even though you may not have posted anything harmful, your family and friends may have done so unknowingly.
And remember, that your credibility is the most important aspect of your case, and once it is lost, it is usually lost for good, so the best course of action is to contact our office so we can use our decades of professional judgment and experience in providing legal advice to you.