Why Should I Close My Social Media Accounts?
After an accident, it may be tempting to talk about what happened on Facebook or post pictures of your injuries on Instagram. You should resist this temptation. One wrong move on social media and your chances of winning your case and collecting all of the money and benefits you’re entitled to may be lost forever.
For example, if you suffered an injury, you should not be out golfing with your buddies. A picture of you on a golf course is perfect evidence to dismiss and delegitimize your claim. Being injured is tough, and being conscious of your actions is even tougher. You may want to try and do normal activities, testing yourself to see if you’re getting better; DON’T. The insurance company is always watching and waiting to catch you off guard.
Here are two simple reasons why:
1.) Whatever you write or post, or have written or posted, will probably fall into the hands of the defense or insurance company.
2.) Anything that you post can be found by the insurance company and be used against you.
Insurance companies have access to your social media posts.
No matter the privacy setting, after an accident, they will do everything they can to track you and your activities online in an effort to discredit your claims and pay you as little as possible. Closing social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. until your case is complete may make the difference in you recovering the damages you are entitled to.
What If I Can’t Close My Social Media Accounts?
If you must keep your social media account(s) active during your case, it is important that you immediately verify your privacy settings. They should be set to PRIVATE.
If this is not possible, then it is strongly recommended that you not post anything about your case (via text, image, video, etc.) or anything that can be used against you.
1.) Allow anyone to become a “friend” unless you are absolutely certain you know the person.
2.) Post any photographs or video of yourself (or enable others to “tag” you).
3.) Write or disclose anything about your personal life that you would be embarrassed to have a defense attorney use against you in front of a judge or jury.
4.) Participate in blogs, chat rooms, message boards, etc.
5.) Lie, as there is no better way to destroy your case than to deny something you did and then have a jury watch a video of you doing what you testified that you cannot do.
As inconvenient as temporarily deactivating or limiting your social media activity is, please know that defense attorneys and insurance companies will use what you post against you.
Don’t give them the opportunity.
Close if you can, set to private if you can’t. Always tell the truth.
Editor’s Note: For more than three and a half decades, Steven Schwartzapfel has been handling complex construction accident cases and representing unions members. As the founder of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., his skill, experience, and expertise have enabled him to recover hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients. He is one of few attorneys who has served both as President-Elect of New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. As a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 and America’s Top 100 Attorneys, Steven and Schwartzapfel Lawyers consistently deliver among the highest verdicts and settlements in New York State.
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