Personal injury law has a bearing on your social media use if you have a claim for an injury or are contemplating a personal injury claim.
Truly the internet has changed the world and how it works. Social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is here to stay as well and is almost as transformative to the lives of those who socialize online. This can be both good and very bad depending on the context.
While social media is a terrific way to keep up with friends near and far and to let them know your activities, it does have its hazards such as diminished privacy. “Wait a minute; I can keep out whomever I want from Facebook through privacy settings!”
Those who have a high privacy setting on Facebook, such as college kids who don’t want their parents to know what exactly went on at that Frat Party last weekend are deluding themselves. Privacy is becoming an illusion. More and more courts are getting involved in subpoenaing Facebook content in litigation. The content can be as enlightening and damaging as reading one’s diary into the court record.
Case-in-point – personal injury clients. When a new injury client is in my office, I always tell them that as bad as they feel right after the crash, they most likely will get somewhat better over time. Most people begin to resume their lives and activities after recuperation through time and medical care.
I always caution personal injury clients not to divulge too much of their private lives on social media. If you’re injured in an accident and if you are treating and presenting a claim to an insurance company you are exposing yourself to scrutiny. Insurance adjusters are notorious for scanning Facebook to see what you post.
An injury client of mine once posted: “Went to Busch Gardens this weekend and went on all the rides! It was a great day!” She posted a photo of her in front of a gigantic roller coaster. Ugh. I guess her neck injury cleared up? No, not at all. When I saw this on Facebook I contacted her and she told me that the next day she could hardly move because her neck was so sore. But that’s not what was up for the world to see.
So, privacy settings aside, do not post anything that you wouldn’t care if the whole world saw. It could make the difference between a good personal injury claim and one weakened by your own actions!
Walt Blenner is a Palm Harbor personal injury lawyer who is an “AV” (highest) rated by Lawyers.com and Martindale Hubbell. He has successfully represented hundreds of clients in Palm Harbor, Dunedin, New Port Richey as well as Tampa and looks forward to helping you and your family whether in the area of personal injury, estate planning or corporate representation.