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Leesburg Personal Injury Lawyer| Talks About Social Media’s Impact on Personal Injury Claims

Guy DiMartino Oct. 13, 2013

Leesburg personal injury lawyer talks about some of things that you should consider when posting to social media after an accident.

You were injured in an accident and you decide to make a claim for the injuries. After the accident, you posted some pictures on Facebook or Twitter of the vehicles or the place where you were injured. You also posted some remarks about the “jerk” that caused the accident. Now, the other side wants access to your social media posts. You’re like – “Really?” Can they really get access to this information? The insurance lawyers would love to gain access to an injured person’s Facebook account.

I receive requests from insurance defense lawyers similar to this one from Nationwide Insurance…..

If you have a Facebook account, please use the “download your information” feature of Facebook to produce a full copy of any and all information on Facebook. You can access this feature through home, account settings, download a copy of your Facebook data, start my archive (twice), and produce the electronic file in response to this request.

I’m sure you’re saying – this is pretty intrusive. Well, if you’re injured in an accident you put yourself at issue. Some judges may allow the insurance defense lawyers to gain access to this information – others will not depending on the specific issues in your case.

The scope of discovery (the type of information the insurance company’s lawyer can get) in a personal injury case is this:

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pending action.

In plain English, if you’re making a claim in a lawsuit, you have to provide to the other side, anything that is not privileged that can lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. Pretend that you injured your neck in a car accident and your doctor is recommending surgery. On Facebook there are photos of you water skiing, out dancing or possibly doing something really embarrassing. Arguably, shouldn’t a jury be able to see the activities that you were able to perform after the accident.

Social Media Rule of Thumb

Here’s my rule of thumb regarding social media. Before you post something on social media, ask yourself this question; Is this something that I would be okay with on a movie screen with your mother, father, teacher, preacher, employer or jury sitting in the audience? If not, I probably wouldn’t push the post button.

If you have any questions about a personal injury matter, you can always give me a call directly at 352-267-9168.