When you have a legal matter, such as having been injured in a car accident or a workers’ compensation accident or a criminal case, it is very important that you understand that social media is not your friend when it comes to any type of legal matter. It should not be used to proclaim your innocence or talk about your accident, generally or directly.
We generally recommend to our clients that they not use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at all during the time that their claim is pending. We also recommend, ideally, that if you had a social media presence before your accident, that you make certain that all of your accounts are set to “private” so that only those that you permit to see your social media posts i.e. your “friends” can see your posts. It is also important that you not accept as a friend anyone that you do not personally know during the time that your claim is pending.
It is now customary for insurance adjusters, investigators, defense attorneys, and the police to search for a Facebook page or other social media presence very early in the case. Even things on your Facebook page that you think do not have anything to do with your accident, can and will be used against you. As a consequence, it is very important that you make your settings private and that from the time of the accident or arrest, you not make any new posts— even ones that you do not believe have anything to do with the accident or your injuries. This recommendation also applies to the posting of pictures. In short, don’t do it. Additionally, you should tell family and friends not to post pictures of you or tag you in posts.
Similarly, we recommend that after your legal situation you do not make reviews of any good or service. Specifically, you should not submit a rating of your doctors, a rating of the opposing insurance company, vacation destinations, or anything else. You would be surprised how insurance companies can find your ratings– which may have seemed to you to be completely unrelated to your claim– and use them against you.
In summary, it is best to go radio silent as far as social media and use of participatory sites on the internet while your case is pending.
If you are seeking legal representation for your personal injury, car accident or criminal case in Missouri, contact the attorneys at Eng & Woods for a free legal consultation.