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 King Law. 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) 270-8882 and speak to an attorney about your legal options.