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Lawsuits and the Internet

Injury victims must never forget that there is an entire industry of attorneys and insurance company claims department employees devoted to weeding out fraudulent claims. The way they accomplish that is by vigorously defending each and every claim and lawsuit as if it was fraudulent.

One current method being pursued is through statements injured parties make on the internet, whether in email messages, blogs, or posts on social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. During litigation, defendants generally request: “Any and all social media or other electronic postings, blogs, conversations, photographs, tweets, feeds, comments, or websites authored by or concerning the plaintiff for one year prior to the accident through the present date”.

So how do you protect yourself from this intrusion into your privacy?

  • Do not use social media while your case is pending.

  • If you must use social media, do not discuss your injury, your lawsuit, and definitely don’t discuss how your injury happened.

  • Also, be mindful that your comments and photographs may contradict your claims in the suit, i.e., vacation photos when you are claiming loss of a normal life.

  • Do not accept friend requests / invitations to connect from anyone you don’t know.

  • Set your privacy settings to only allow your family and friends to see your postings, and not defense attorneys or insurance claims professionals.

What if it is too late and you have already posted before you consulted with an attorney? Unfortunately, you are stuck. If you delete the content you posted, the court considers this destruction of evidence. Courts do not treat destruction of evidence kindly. Remember, everything can be intentionally misconstrued if someone really wants to.

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