Social Networking and Personal Injury: Can MySpace Affect My Case?

By October 7, 2010 April 9th, 2018 car accident lawyer

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn enhance communication among their millions of users every day. The recent presence of celebrities and businesses on said websites have strengthened the prominence and pervasiveness of social networking in today’s world. As more and more parties become involved in the social networking phenomenon, one must become more aware of what they expose to the online public, especially when one is involved in a personal injury case.
Children in grade school are now given lectures regarding “stranger danger” online. These kids are learning valuable lessons that their parents were never taught in school, but that they nevertheless can and should take to heart in their own lives- be careful who you share personal details with. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become a staple of communication among their loyal subscribers due attraction of being able to send out widespread updates quickly. While it may be tempting to give your nearest and dearest a quick update on, for instance, the status of your recovery or details regarding a case, you must be aware of others’ ability to access this information. It’s surprising how easy it can be for parties, including insurance companies and lawyers, to access content that has been posted by yourself, friends, or even friends of friends, even when high profile privacy settings have been put in place. That being said, you can never be too careful with what you post, or who you accept as your friend. Even a quick update such as “gone golfing” or “feeling great” can be broadcast to the public and poke major holes in your personal injury claim.
The utmost care should especially be taken in regards to photos. Even the most private of social networking sites still typically displays a “main” or “profile” photo, and these can end up being incriminating in a personal injury claim. Uploaded photos of clients traveling, playing sports, or being active can give the impression that they are making false injury claims, even if the photos are from months or years in the past. Also be careful with the activities you discuss with your friends in online forums. While you may be taking every precaution that you personally can, a friend dropping a line asking, “How was that football game?” can spark investigation on your personal injury claim, even if you were only a spectator. These ambiguous statements can have huge implications, and can significantly slow down your settlement process at the very best.
Call it unethical, sneaky, or even illegal, but cases have recently been recorded of insurance adjusters and lawyers requesting friendship with not only clients but the close friends and family members of those clients. Access to photos, blogs, and conversations has been detrimental to many personal injury cases. Internet contact legal precedence and guidelines are still being set, so it is important to take every precaution in guarding your privacy while involved in a personal injury claim. If you need to update your family and friends, it would be best to do so the old-fashioned way. If you’re having concerns about your online presence conveys you, take 10 minutes and Google yourself to be sure no content exists that might compromise your case. Again, concerning content may be posted on pages or blogs of friends and family, so be sure to take the proper steps in protecting this information.
The most important communication that you should be focused on exists with your personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help explain the correct procedures and precautions to follow regarding your claim. The Law Office of Ledger and Associates is experienced and ready to address any questions you have about your personal injury.
Law Offices of Ledger & Associates
811 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Office: 213-493-6588
Toll Free 800-300-0001