Although Facebook is a great place to share our experiences, our postings can also be used against us. It is now standard practice for attorneys, insurance companies and opposing parties to check Facebook without the claimant’s knowledge or permission, so be aware of your social media presence.
1. Think about your security settings.
Set your security settings to the highest possible level. Never post anything publicly. Even with your settings as secure as possible, assume that anything you post could potentially become public knowledge. Even if you don’t intend for the information you post to be shown in a courtroom, it could fall into the insurance company’s hands and give them an opportunity to use your own postings to try to undermine the validity of your claim.
2. Don’t friend anyone you don’t know.
One of the tactics the opposing side may use to obtain information from your social media profiles involves connecting with you as a friend in order to see your private posts. Never accept a friend request from anyone unless you are sure of who they are. Even if the person appears to be someone you know, dig a little deeper. If in doubt, leave the friend request idle.
3. Do not discuss any pending legal action.
If you use social media, never post anything about your case. Don’t answer any questions about your case, your injuries or how you have been feeling. Don’t discuss your medical treatment. Don’t discuss your communications with your attorneys, because you might accidentally lose the protection of the attorney-client privilege.
4. Be careful with photos.
What types of photos do people post on Facebook? Photos showing Fun, Family, Friends. Nobody wants to be Debbie Downer on social media. A photo of one fun moment with your family or friends will not show your physical limitations, your pain, your discomfort. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will select your posting of a fun moment to argue that your injuries have not impacted your daily life. Even if you were in pain and felt exhausted after the social event shown in your posted photo, your post does not tell that part of the story. Resist the urge to post photos on social media.
5. Think Before you Post.
When posting status updates on Facebook or other sites, be very aware of what you are saying. People using social media often post status updates that don’t reflect their actual feelings or activities simply to “sound good.” Unfortunately, such updates are nearly impossible to explain away. If you post a status indicating that you participated in a physical activity that isn’t consistent with your injury claim, your case may suffer irreparable harm.
6. Contact an Experienced Attorney.
Our team has seen a significant increase in the amount of electronic surveillance done by defense attorneys, investigators and insurance companies in recent years. If they discover anything during their search that seems to contradict the seriousness of the injury, you can be sure the other side will use it to challenge the injury. If you have been injured, it’s important to get experienced attorneys on your side. Fales & Fales, PA has been representing Maine clients for over 100 years. We’ve seen most of the tricks in the book. Contact us for a free consultation.
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