Diamonds, they say, are forever. And so are social media posts.
Nothing good is likely to come from any of your online posts after you’ve been injured in a car crash. Facebook and other social media sites are absolute gold mines for insurance companies and their retained defense lawyers. If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence and you have filed a claim with an insurance company or hired a lawyer and started a law suit, you can bet the house that the other side is going to dig into your social media posts—not just the posts since you were injured, but ALL your posts, even the ones you’ve deleted. Because once you post something on a social media site, a skilled computer investigator will find it. Remember, nothing is ever truly deleted on the internet. And even posts you have set as “Private” will not be hidden from prying eyes.
“But wait!” you say. “I have nothing to hide. My injury is legitimate and I am in constant pain, even when I took the selfies from Uncle Louie’s fishing boat and from my son’s graduation party.” But the defense will cherry pick through your posts and find ones where you are smiling, or perhaps doing an activity that you will know you will later “pay for” with increased pain, and use those against you. They will argue to the jury that you are obviously exaggerating your injuries, or even “making the whole thing up,” because you look so happy in your social media posts. And of course you do—no one posts sad photos of themselves online.
So remember that anything you post online could very well wind up as a key exhibit at the trial of your personal injury case, and think about how a zealous defense lawyer will use that to his or her client’s advantage before you hit the “post” button. No, you are not “hiding” anything; but you are helping to make sure the insurance adjuster or the jury gets an accurate view of how your injuries affect your daily life, not just a snapshot or two of the best few moments of your life over the past several months or years.