Social media has changed the world. It allows users all over the nation to post, alert, share, connect, like, comment, and engage with content instantly. Social media has helped people form friendships and relationships, given businesses more exposure, and formed an online community for people to interact and feel included. Unfortunately, technology can have benefits and downsides.
Social media and the internet are accessible to all, and anyone can get a hold of your information. While this may not be a big deal for some, those with pending personal injury cases should be mindful of what they post on social media. Posting anything online that contradicts your case could provide the opposing counsel an opportunity to refute the allegations you’ve made. In other words, you risk having your case dismissed and losing the opportunity to receive compensation from the liable party.
Switch All Your Social Media Accounts to Private
The first step to avoid hurting your own case is changing all your privacy settings on your social media accounts. Navigate to the settings feature on each of your platforms, find “account details,” and toggle your profile from public to private. This allows only people you are friends with to see your profile.
When you’re in private mode, users must request to follow you. Use caution and don’t accept anyone you don’t know, as this could be someone trying to uncover key evidence to use against you. You should also consider that even if you quit social media for the time being, investigators can tap into your tagged photos, comments, mentions, and more. You may want to ask your friends and family to be careful while using social media.
Are My Private Social Media Posts Discoverable in Litigation?
Even though you have privacy settings, you’re still not in the clear to post whatever you want. In discovery—a process in litigation where parties exchange information—it’s a common tactic for plaintiffs to be prompted to grant access to their social media accounts, whether private or public.
In some cases, plaintiffs who claim to be severely injured have posted online showing themselves on vacation or doing activities that they shouldn’t be able to given their injuries. It is not always the case that your legal team will be asked to provide access to your private social media posts because, generally, the request made by opposing parties must be relevant.
Real-Life Examples of Social Media Impacting Your Claim
Never underestimate the power of a defense attorney. They can and will do what is necessary to protect their client, which means digging up anything possible to hurt your claim. Here are just a few real-life examples of how social media can threaten your Colorado personal injury claim:
- Pictures or videos taken of you consuming alcohol or taking illegal drugs before or while driving or doing another activity that can be used to place fault on you
- Pictures or videos of you looking cheerful while claiming pain and suffering
- Pictures or videos of you participating in strenuous activities, like dancing or exercising, while claiming your injuries are disabling
- Pictures or videos of your online business or sharing sponsored content to make money, while claiming lost income
- Pictures or videos of a large investment you made, such as a new car or home, while claiming lost earning ability
…and the list goes on. Using social media may put you in a sticky situation when your personal injury case is still awaiting action. To protect your rights and avoid making costly mistakes, your best course of action is to work with a Colorado personal injury attorney who has your back.
Protect Yourself after an Injury in Colorado with Mintz Law
The Mintz Law Firm provides a combination of personal attention, focused representation, and professionalism to each of our clients at every stage in the personal injury process. We know how to protect you and will always advise you in the right direction. Our entire legal team is passionate about advocating for others, and we’re prepared to help you.
At the Mintz Law Firm, our legal team focuses on obtaining compensatory damages for those who have been injured in all types of accidents throughout Colorado. Recognized for our commitment to justice, we draw on over 150 years of combined legal experience to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. For a free case evaluation and to get your questions answered by one of our trusted attorneys, schedule your consultation by calling (303) 462-2999 or completing our contact form today.