With most Americans today participating in some form of social media, websites
such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ have fundamentally changed how
we are able to communicate. These websites and mobile applications allow
users to share every detail of their lives with the world at the click
of a button. While uploading a few pictures may not always lead to trouble,
it can quickly complicate legal matters. As the internet age progresses,
insurance companies and attorneys across the nation are beginning to turn
to social media sites for evidence in personal injury cases.
How Using Social Media Can Affect Your Injury Claim
When you are involved in a personal injury claim, what you do and say on
social media may be used against you in court. Protecting yourself against
accidental self-incrimination begins with understanding the risks involved
in posting information publically. Many users incorrectly assume that
the data they post online is their property and will remain private. In
reality, most items posted to social media are publically available. However,
even information that is intended to be private may not be protected in
a court case.
Buried in the terms and service of many social media companies are clauses
which state that your private information may be handed over to authorities
in certain investigations. For example, assume that you were involved
in a slip and fall accident that required you to miss work and resulted
in costly medical bills. If an opposing attorney found recent pictures
of you surfing on vacation, they may have cause to further investigate
your account. While this is an extreme example, insurance companies may
call upon every piece of information if it means an increased chance of
winning their case against you.
Additionally, when you read the fine print, you may find social media companies
are gathering more information than most users realize. This means that
posts and communications that you thought would be private may, in fact,
be publically available. Furthermore, the privacy policies of many companies
change so rapidly that it is difficult for many users to keep up with
the current terms and conditions of use. A good rule of thumb is to assume
that everything you do on social media will be available to the opposing
side. The best defense may be to stay off social media entirely when involved
in a legal battle.
Attorney Protecting the Injured
With industries such as social media on the rise, it is increasingly difficult
to navigate the personal injury claims process, but you do not have to
do it alone. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury through no fault
of your own, contact the Law Office of Robert King. The firm’s lead
Rochester personal injury attorney has substantial experience helping
the injured to collect every penny that they deserve. Experiencing an
accident can leave you with an overwhelming number of questions and if
you want answers,
schedule a FREE consultation with the firm today.
Call (585) 286-5124 and speak to an attorney about your legal options.