Virginia Work Injury Lawyers

Be Wary Online: How Social Media Can Affect Your Injury Case

June 29, 2016 — by Jessica Graziano
Tags: Social Media Workers Compensation Personal Injury

A woman using her laptop outdoorsSocial media has changed our lives, though not always for the better. The lawyers of Reinhardt, Harper, Davis PLC always stress to clients that their social media presence is just as important to their case as the evidence gathered as part of an investigation. This focus on smart legal choices in and out of court is what makes our Richmond injury and workers' compensation law firm such a trusted legal resource.

Let's take a moment to consider how social media can impact your case and what you can do to be smart about your presence online.

You May Not Be As Private As You Think You Are

One thing that shocks many people about their social media presence is that they are not as private or secure as they think they are. We're not talking about your social media account being hacked, either. Many people have publicly visible posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tmblr, and Google+, but don't even realize it.

So many strangers or parties who have an interest in your private life can access this information if you're not careful. Since this is social media we're talking about, your personal presence can be used against your personal interests.

Your Posts and Shares Might Undermine Your Case

If you share, post, retweet, or upload something onto social media, there is a chance that people may use it against your lawsuit.

Say that you have suffered a serious injury that affects your lower back. By all accounts, you should be taking it easy on your back and avoiding strenuous physical activity. If there's a post on Facebook of you out on a beach running, people may call your injury into question. That photo may have been from months ago and before your injury, but the fact it comes up on your Facebook page or Instagram at this time while you are supposed to be resting may seem suspect. Context is key, of course, but without context an innocent post can do unexpected damage.

Post Frequency Can Have an Impact on Legitimacy

People who post frequently on social media run a greater risk of posting something that may undermine their case. This is partly the law of averages since the higher the frequency of social media posts, the more likely one of them could be potentially negative.

Even certain posts about medical care and physical rehabilitation may paint a different picture of your injury, and may call certain aspects of your case into question.

Posts About You or That Tag You Can Be an Issue

Sometimes these issues with social media are no fault of your own. Other people may post things on social media about you that can cause issues with your lawsuit. This means old photos or videos, or even just tagging you at a certain location at a certain time. Many times these are just innocuous posts, but again, sometimes being tagged at a park or some other location may call into question the nature and legitimacy of your injuries.

Using Information on Friends Against You

In addition to all of the above, interested parties working on the opposite side of your case may try to use your social media presence to contact friends and co-workers. This is especially dangerous with LinkedIn profiles as well as other common social media platforms. In essence, your friends, family members, and others in your network could potentially be contacted to find out more about you and your injury.

How You Can Use Social Media Responsibly

When it comes to responsible social media use, consider the following tips:

  • Set your social media profiles to private (see your privacy settings)
  • Do not accept friend or follow requests from people you do not know
  • Ask friends and loved ones to not post about you without your permission
  • Take a break from social media and avoid posting
  • If you have second thoughts about sharing something online, don't share it

Speak with the Lawyers of Reinhardt, Harper, Davis PLC

For more information about your legal options following a serious injury you have sustained, be sure to contact our workplace injury and accident attorneys today. The lawyers of Reinhardt, Harper, Davis PLC are here to help you.

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