Whether you know it or not, social media and personal injury claims are becoming increasingly important to each other and can impact your case. It is no secret that social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with one another, but did you know it is also changing the way we litigate as well?
Before the days of Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of the other social media websites of the world, lawyers would often use private investigators to either follow a person of interest around or to stake out and watch them. Today, the internet has allowed for the middle man to be cut out of this process seeing as all the information one may need is now available at their fingertips. In essence your social media activity is giving all the information that they may be interested in.
There are two crucial aspects of social media activity that are looked at, what and when? Society utilizes social media to update everyone in their network about what they are doing. Whether it be utilizing LinkedIn to update your career profile or Instagram to share a cool picture, social media is a way for us to share with the world what we have done and what we plan to do. Just as important as what is when. All social media sites give users the ability to see exactly when they posted something. This information is of much value to defense attorneys and to insurance companies as it shows them what people are doing and when exactly they are doing it.
What is the best way to combat this new form of investigation? It is recommended, during a personal injury case, to close or suspend all activity on social media sites for the duration of the case as to prevent it from hurting the chances at a successful case. If this is not a viable option, then the following precautions should be taken:
- Don’t talk to strangers; do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know; they could be an insurance adjuster or a defense attorney
- Don’t post anything you would avoid saying or showing to the opposing attorney
- Check your privacy settings
- Remind your friends not to post messages, photos, or videos about you
- Google yourself periodically and try to remove any damaging information about yourself
In today’s world, it is imperative to the success of your personal injury case that you heed to the following guidelines and advice. It is important to understand that social media can have a large impact on a personal injury trial and anything you post reveals information about yourself that may or may not be consistent with your claims you are alleging in the lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in Arizona, the experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys in our office can help. We can help ensure that your social media activity doesn’t have a negative impact on your case. Contact Kamper, Estrada & Simmons, L.L.P. to schedule a free consultation today!