Personal Injury and Social Media

As a South Florida personal injury attorney, it is important to relay to clients what to do after an accident. Generally the following advice is given;

  1. Get medical attention as soon as possible.
  2. Document the accident if possible by taking pictures and having the closest police department make an incident report.
  3. Do not talk to anyone about the accident.
  4. Try to get contact information of any witnesses that are on the scene.
  5. Contact an attorney at your earliest convenience to help you through the process.

Not until recently has it become necessary to relay to clients that they not post any information directly or indirectly connected to the injury on any social media. To be clear, if you were in any sort of accident you should not post any information about the accident or any information about your physical activities after the incident. For example, you don’t want to post that you played tennis or softball the weekend after the accident. You do not want to post any information as to how you feel physically or medical treatments. Such information could come back to haunt you.

The privacy settings may not protect from possible discovery if your case goes to trial. Meaning, that a court may give access to your private information on a social networking site if it deems it proper. In New York in the case Romano v. Steelcase. CO., it was determined that private portions of sites such as Facebook and Myspace may be discoverable in regards to information related to “activities and enjoyment of life.”

Since social media and networks are somewhat new it is easy to make a mistake like this. Lawyers and accident victims are learning how to cope with these new mediums alike. It is understandable that after a traumatic experience a person may seek solace by posting to a blog, Facebook, or Myspace. However, it should not be done under any circumstance as it may jeopardize your case.