It’s undeniable that social media has permeated every layer of our society. With almost every demographic shifting to primarily digital communication, many of us rely on it the same way we used to rely on landline phones. However, social media has also introduced us to an age of uncertainty.
One of the many privacy concerns is that many users don’t understand how public their “publicly posted” tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook posts are. As a result, many individuals have inadvertently sabotaged their personal injury lawsuits. As any personal injury attorney in Las Vegas would advise you, here are some of the things to avoid doing regarding social media until your case has concluded.
Assuming that “Private” Is Actually Private
Many social media platforms lure users into a false sense of security. This is often by letting them post “privately,” promising them that only their friends online will have access to their posts.
However, a rule of thumb is always to assume that the insurance company can view your “private” posts. This is because, in a large portion of cases, insurance companies will actually get to read your private posts on social media. They often have unscrupulous methods of reading your posts, most frequently through being a “friend of a friend” who then has access to what you thought was private.
If there is any reason to believe you may have posted a picture or other evidence privately, such as you alluding to the post in more public posts. In the end, the social media company could be subpoenaed into providing your “private” posts to the insurance company to be used as evidence to discredit your claim.
In short, never assume what you say online will be private, especially when you’re in the middle of a lawsuit or considering filing one.
One of the most common incidents that ruins a Personal Injury lawsuit is that an individual posts pictures of their injuries on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. It can be tempting, especially since people often feel isolated right after the injury occurs.
However, once again, insurance companies will more than likely obtain these pictures. If they don’t fully depict your injuries, they could be used to argue that your injuries were perhaps not as severe as you claimed. You may also be violating or removing the possibility of a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) with the insurance company that could or would have offered you the largest sum of money.
Of course, your closest friends may want constant updates on your healing status. Remember, by default, this is considered “Personal Health Information” (PHI) and has a level of legal protection. As soon as it’s posted on social media, that legal privilege goes away.
Text status updates can be harvested and stored by insurance companies. These can also be used in court to make a variety of arguments. For example, if on the second day of the injury, you say you’re “feeling much better”, this could be used to argue that you’re overplaying the injury and ultimately lose the whole lawsuit.
In short, regardless of the type of media you post, anything can be used against you. Injury attorneys in Las Vegas will be able to examine your case and be able to provide you with more specific advice regarding what is and isn’t acceptable to post. If possible, it’s usually ideal to not post anything on social media to be safe.
Accepting New Friend Requests
Most platforms allow you to make posts only available to “direct friends” or followers. A good, general rule to follow is to make everything as private as possible. Still, never post about the injury, but your accounts should be in the most restrictive modes possible until the case is over.
In the meantime, there’s one dirty tactic used quite often: the “random” friend request. Since most people on social media like to have a higher friend and follower counts, insurance companies count on you accepting their request. They could even be posing as someone you know in real life! Any personal injury attorney in Las Vegas would advise you to not accept any requests before or during the lawsuit and settlement proceedings.
It may seem small, but this can easily make or break your case. While unethical, the practice is not yet considered unlawful in most jurisdictions, including Nevada.
How the Schnitzer Law Firm Can Help
A personal injury attorney in Las Vegas can help guide you through this difficult time. Nevada Personal Injury Law gets quite complex, but compassionate and experienced attorneys at the Schnitzer Law Firm can ensure that all you’ll need to focus on is getting better. You’ll also be able to gain invaluable advice on how to not accidentally ruin your case.
If you’ve recently been involved in an accident and suffered a Personal Injury, do not rely on your insurance company to give you a fair quote! Before going back on social media, do yourself a favor and get in touch with the Schnitzer Law Firm today! You can feel free to call the firm at (702) 960-4050 to schedule an obligation-free consultation appointment. If you’d prefer writing, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit our secure, online form at https://www.theschnitzerlawfirm.com/contact/ to make your appointment today.