You may or may not have thought about this, but what is posted on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can affect your personal injury case negatively.
Attorney: “So, you can no longer do your normal activities because of the injuries you sustained?”
You, the Injured: “That is correct. I’m unable to do anything I used to do.”
Attorney: “One of those normal activities you did regularly was knit and sew, yes?”
Attorney: “Then can you explain to me why there is a photo album on your Facebook account titled “Newest Quilting Creations” taken a couple of months after your accident?”
You: “They were all practically done before; I just had…” (interrupted)
Attorney: “I understand. Sewing must not be a ‘normal activity.’ (sarcasm)
As you can tell, it is extremely important to screen everything about your online presence. Below are 7 tips everyone with a pending injury case should follow.
- DO: Set limits to your Facebook profile so it can only be seen by friends - but be aware that the contents of your entire account can be requested by other parties involved in the case.
- DO NOT: Post information about your accident on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. - and ask your friends to abstain also. Included are pictures, comments, and videos.
- DO: Take past photos and updates that could be used against you off the internet. For example, one grumble you made about your back years before the accident can be used as evidence that the accident did not cause your back injury.
- DO NOT: Post information about your recovery. Once again, do not put any pictures or videos online.
- DO: Google yourself. If you find content, pictures or videos that might hurt you, attempt to have them taken off the internet.
- DO NOT: Allow your friends post whatever they want about you. Observe friends’ activity. If they post photos of you, make comments about you, check you in to locations, etc., you need to be aware so you can make sure these will not be a burden to your case.
- DO: Pay attention to the updates you post (on ALL sites), and what events you accept an invitation to. If you say you are attending an ice skating event, but you can’t walk, this discrepancy will show up.
Note: Removing pictures from the internet does not constitute as destroying evidence. Removing videos and photos from the internet makes it harder for them to be used against you.