So your accident lawyer told you to close your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Do you really have to close your accounts? Why!
No, you don’t have to close your social media accounts but you might have to find another lawyer. Not all injury lawyers will require you to close your social media accounts. We do not require clients to close their accounts.
We do request that you be careful with what you post on your accounts and we want you to understand that you could damage your injury case.
Let’s start with why an accident lawyer would ask you to close your accounts. The reason is that you may post photos you think are okay but in fact, could either damage your case or just make it more difficult to settle.
The obvious one is a photo of you doing something you claim you can’t do any longer. That photo of you skydiving will make it next to impossible to claim that you have pain when going up or downstairs.
Even if you don’t post the photo, someone else could post a photo of you on their account. Your friend who was skydiving with you may post a photo of both of you on his Facebook account. A mutual friend sees you in the photo and tags your image with your name. Your photo just became easily discoverable.
Less obvious are the normal photos such as one of you holding a baby. You may have testified at your deposition that you can’t lift more than 10 pounds but that baby you’re holding in the photo may weigh 15 pounds.
Your entire history and all your old photos can be seen. It’s possible these photos don’t portray the kind of life you claim to have given up because of your injuries. You may also have had a previous injury or accident which could be discovered from your account.
If you make your profiles and postings public, this information can be used against you in your lawsuit. If you make your profile private, an insurance adjuster or defense attorney may be able to have access to your photo if a friend shares your photo.
Even if your social media accounts are set to private, the defense attorney may be able to get a court order ordering you to turn over your usernames and passwords.
We won’t ask you to close your social media accounts, just be careful.
For transparency: Attorney Phil Franckel owns a lot of stock in Facebook.
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Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team™