WITH social networking taking a greater importance role in our lives, sites like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used against claimants in personal injury cases to have them thrown out.
Now some personal injury lawyers are advising their clients to stay away from such sites as the legal process goes ahead, and have issued some pointers to avoid cases being ended as the other side confirms or disproves the claimant’s ability to resume a normal life.
Here are a few worth considering:
- Allow your personal injury lawyer unrestricted access to all your social media sites, postings, and content . They will be able to review and advise you on anything potentially damaging to your case;
- Be critical of everything attributed to you online. Run a Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter search for your name and any keywords associated with you. Take off anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother or boss seeing, even if it’s restricted and private, as personal injury investigators are expert at taking innocent-looking information and turning it to their advantage;
- Check your privacy settings. Most sites will allow you to actually block certain people altogether, so block the opposing personal injury lawyer and law clerk. They may employ someone who you don’t know instead, so don’t allow any access to anyone other than immediate friends;
- Don’t accept friend requests or answer emails from people you don’t know as, on Facebook and other sites, sending a response will grant the sender access to your profile for a certain number of days. This will give enough time for the answering party to assess your personal injury claim;
- Don’t post anything about your personal injury case at any stage throughout the course of mediation, litigation, or trial. Don’t post anything about your case, the people you’ve interacted with since filing your claim, information or details about the accident or personal injury, or any compromising materials to your claim. When in any doubt about photos, videos or friends’ comments, do not make them available online until after the conclusion of your case.