Going through a car accident can be traumatizing. Your life flashes before your eyes, and your world is turned upside-down. Suddenly, you find yourself in a hospital bed, trying to make sense of what happened—and what it means for your future.
In stressful times such as these, you may reach out for support from friends and family on social media. However, publishing anything related to your accident online can be a costly mistake.
Assume that whatever you post online is accessible forever—and that a lawyer or insurance adjuster trying to discredit your personal injury claim could use it against you. It’s a good idea to take a break from social media altogether while your lawsuit is underway. However, if that’s not an option for you, then follow these rules of thumb:
- Avoid posting any commentary on the accident, your case or your recovery online.
- Refrain from posting any videos or photos of yourself—particularly if you appear fitter and healthier than you claim in your lawsuit.
- Don’t post your location on social media, and set your privacy settings so that others can’t “check you in” online. It would appear suspicious if you claim to have a knee injury but are seen checking in to a nearby ski resort.
- Your friends and family may be upset or concerned for you—and they may want to vent their worries online. Ask your loved ones to avoid making any posts about your case.
- In case someone else publishes an incriminating post on your behalf, it’s worth changing your social media settings so that no one else can “tag” you in their post.
- Beware of any new friend requests you receive from people you don’t recognize. Insurance companies may create fake profiles to try to access evidence to use against you.
Following a devastating accident, best practice is to only discuss your case with your lawyer. However, if you choose to talk about it with your loved ones, it’s critical to avoid doing so online.