At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our Las Vegas, Nevada personal injury attorneys cannot stress to our clients enough how important it is to be aware of your social media existence when pursuing a lawsuit after an accident.
While the different types of social media platforms may appeal to different clients, the fact is that sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all public forums that can present personal information that defense attorneys and insurance companies can use against you during a personal injury lawsuit.
What Does Your Social Media Account Say About Your Accident and Injuries?
Are you smiling for a recent picture, even though you are suffering from severe emotional distress? Are you spending the day at an amusement park when your lawsuit states that you have suffered a severe injury?
The insurance company will require access to the medical records that are relevant to the injuries sustained during your accident, and the same is true for your social media accounts. The insurance company and their attorneys are going to scour your public accounts for any proof that you are not as hurt as you say you are, so they do not have to pay for your claim. While all the information on your social media accounts may not be relevant to your case, the images, videos, comments, and posts that are can be argued into evidence that will be used against you.
Always Protect Your Privacy During a Personal Injury Case
Before you post something online, remember that it cannot be completely removed — even if you have deleted it from your personal account.
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen our Clark County personal injury attorneys are our client’s advocates during every aspect of their cases, and that includes arguing on your behalf regarding what public information is unavailable to the defense team.
However, this quickly evolving part of the law may allow legal access to any social media activity that can be used as admissible evidence against you in the case, including a picture of you enjoying an afternoon in the park with family or friends. The argument behind these discoveries can be as simple as how can you be having so much fun if you are in so much pain? How are you enjoying all of life’s regular activities if you are too hurt to work?
If you are unwilling to suspend your social media use for the duration of your case, at the very least, please follow these tips :
- Never post images of your injuries, medical charts, or medications online
- Refrain from talking about your legal case in any way on social media, including that you are pursuing a case, are in the middle of a case, or have settled a case
- Never mention any person, company, or entity that is involved in the case online
- Never list how you are feeling physically or emotionally, as a single reference to “feeling better after the accident” can be used against you
- Never post photos of an accident scene or the damage to your vehicle or personal property
- Do not allow yourself to be “tagged” in photos, so friends and family members cannot upload images, videos, or comments about your activities or well-being
- Set your social media privacy settings to private mode to avoid public viewing by strangers, including attorneys and insurance companies
- Alert your support group, including all family members and friends, to how important your lawsuit is,so they refrain from posting about you, on your wall, or on your behalf
- Double check your contacts to ensure the opposing party cannot gain access to your full account through a disgruntled party’s connection
- Avoid following or being followed online by strangers or anyone you do not know personally – it could be someone reviewing your social media presence to see all of your photos, posts, and information and relaying that information to the opposing counsel
- Do not check into the places you visit to avoid a location-enabled trail of where you have been, when, and with whom
Always assume that the defense attorney is using your social media presence as a resource to present evidence against you and that the fallout could mean the difference in winning and losing your case.
If you have questions regarding your accident, your injuries, or your ability to pursue financial recovery from a negligent party, contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen in Las Vegas, Nevada today at (702) 505-8115 to schedule a free initial consultation.