man sharing info about his accident on social media

Approximately 70 percent of Americans use social media. Most have gotten into the habit of checking and posting to different accounts several times a day. Connecting with people, sharing life experiences, finding work, and even meeting friends online are all benefits of social media.

However, those benefits can backfire and have negative impacts on a personal injury claim. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to know what is safe to post online and what isn’t before you hit send.

Are Your Posts Really Private?

On most social media platforms, you can choose the privacy level of your account. If your account is public, everyone on the social media platform can see your posts even if you’re not connected with them. That includes the other party in your personal injury lawsuit, their lawyers, and their private investigators. Private posts have more protection, but that doesn’t mean no one can see them.

The other party will be monitoring your accounts, trying to find any pictures or posts that contradict your claims. They will be creating their narrative around your posts, so it’s better not to provide them with material for their story. Leave the story to your personal injury attorney.

If you belong to special interest groups on social media—for example, a travel group on Facebook—the other party and their lawyers can find you. It would be easy for the other party to connect with you via a special interest group, giving them access to your posts—even individual posts set to “Friends Only.”

Even if you’re strict about your friends and followers, there are people you don’t know viewing your posts. Those strangers could include the other party in your personal injury suit. If you post about your injuries, your recovery, or your lawsuit, then you may be revealing information that could be used by the other party in an attempt to derail your case. Do not accept any new friend or follower requests during your personal injury case unless you know the person already.

 

Social Media Posts Can be Used as Evidence

Even if you have a secure social media profile, the other party’s lawyer or the court can require you to provide printouts of all of your social media posts. Deleted and hidden posts can also be recovered, if necessary.

Do not add any social media accounts while your case is pending, even anonymous, fake, or shadow accounts, such as a “finsta,” or fake Instagram, account. Even if no one knows the account is yours, the discovery demand will not be limited to named accounts—it will include all of your accounts. If you fail to disclose your anonymous accounts and the other party discovers them, you risk undermining your case and being held in contempt of court.

If you refrain from posting on social media, you won’t inadvertently reveal potentially incriminating evidence that the other party can use against you.

 

Any Post Can be Incriminating Evidence

You might think that your post is innocuous, but the other party will be looking for incriminating evidence. A flower from an evening walk or a DIY project you’re proud of completing could be taken as evidence that you’re further along in your recovery than you’ve claimed. Pictures of you smiling at a party or going out with your friends could be seen as signs that your emotional distress claim is exaggerated or false.

If your friends and family are sharing pictures of you on social media, those pictures also put you at risk. If anyone discusses your case online, the other party could find those posts, too. Ask your friends and family not to post pictures or comments about you until your personal injury case has been resolved.

 

Share Your Frustrations with Your Attorney, not Your Followers

Resist the temptation to put the other party “on blast” or “name and shame” them. Any such post could be considered a threat or extortion. Avoid increasing hostility in a personal injury lawsuit. At best, it will make settlement negotiations more difficult. At worst, the other party will refuse to settle and take the case to trial.

Taking a personal injury lawsuit to trial is much more difficult and expensive, and it puts your case in the hands of a judge or jury, which adds another layer of unpredictability to your case. It could also increase the discovery demands, which further exposes your social media presence. Any communications with the other party should be done through your lawyer and theirs, not on social media for all to see.

 

Non-Disclosure Clauses

In a settlement agreement, a non-disclosure clause will prohibit revealing the amount of the settlement, the name of the other party, and possibly even the existence of the settlement. Even an oblique reference, which mentions the amount or the company, without explicitly referencing the settlement, could be problematic. In cases like these, the other party’s attorney can argue that you violated the terms of the settlement agreement.

The penalty for violating the non-disclosure clause will be a part of the agreement. If you disclose any of the prohibited items, you could be ordered to return the entire settlement amount. Your personal injury attorney would then negotiate for a liquidated damages clause, which means you would pay a lower amount if you violate the non-disclosure clause. Your personal injury attorney should also negotiate for a higher settlement if the other party demands a non-disclosure clause.

 

Take a Social Media Hiatus

Your personal injury attorney can provide social media guidelines, but even if they do, it is safer not to post on social media while your personal injury case is pending. If you want to maintain your social media presence, limit yourself to sharing news articles unrelated to your case and to liking—but not commenting on—posts from your friends and family.

The risk of posting something that can be used against your case outweighs any possible benefit. Therefore, it’s safer to avoid posting on social media while your case is pending. If you’re concerned about your social media presence during your personal injury lawsuit, talk to your personal injury attorney at Bell & Pollock P.C.

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

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Case Results

WE KNOW HOW TO WIN

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000

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