In a recent podcast episode, leading personal injury attorney Kendra Long, founder of Northwest Women's Injury Law, PLLC in Edmonds, WA, revealed how social media could harm a personal injury case. —
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When asked for a comment, Long told listeners, "Social media is one of the biggest problems that I see in a case. Everybody wants to post about their accident on social media as a big event in their life and for support. However, posting on social media during a personal injury case will do you more harm than good."
One major downside to posting on social media is that insurance companies and defense attorneys will attempt to gather more information while building their case.
“When you post, you allow for other people to comment, and you can’t control what they’re going to say. Let’s say you post about your accident and your very well-meaning friends post something like ‘oh my gosh, again? You were just in an accident last month.’ Then the insurance companies can use this to claim that your injuries weren’t their fault but due to another accident.”
According to Long, it’s best to be cautious about the type of content posted during a pending case, even if it’s not related to the accident itself.
When asked to elaborate, she said, “Perhaps you take this beautiful Mother’s Day photo that shows you holding your child, and you post it to social media. But at the same time you're suffering from back pain. All the insurance company will say is that you're holding your child up when your doctor is telling you not to lift more than 10 pounds. They're going to use it against you."
Long further gave a particular warning about people who have shared social media accounts. These accounts might be shared with spouses, partners, children, and friends.
“There is no good way of knowing which party is posting to that account. Let’s say that someone on your shared account posted that they went for a really long walk. Then the insurance company can say that they saw that post, but perhaps it was in fact your spouse who went on that long walk.”
When asked what piece of advice she would give to anyone with an open personal injury case, she said, "My best advice is to refrain from posting on social media. If for some reason you cannot limit your posting, make sure that you have locked down to the highest privacy settings possible. Do not accept people as your friends if you do not know them personally. Do not allow people to tag you in photos."
Long added that a caveat to this is that upping privacy settings doesn't mean that insurance companies can't access content on your social media accounts. According to her, they might ask for access to or for copies of an account should the case make it to litigation.
Name: Kendra Long
Email: Send Email
Organization: Northwest Women’s Injury Law, PLLC
Address: Waterfront Park Building, 144 Railroad Avenue, Suite 308, Edmonds, WA 98020
Phone: (425) 818-5331
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