Online/Social Media Surveillance: That ‘Throwback Thursday’ or ‘Flashback Friday’ Post Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars in Lost Settlement Money
Perhaps you have seen the recent news about a Florida teenager who posted information about her father’s $80,000 legal settlement on Facebook. As part of the settlement, the father had signed a standard confidentiality clause which prohibited any disclosure of information about the agreement. The daughter’s Facebook post was a violation of the confidentiality agreement and so the defendant refused to pay the $80,000.
Facebook, as well as other social media sites, is a public forum, even if your profile is set to “private”.
Davis Law Group is careful to inform all clients that insurance companies also have the right to search any public information that you have posted online. Insurance companies are using social media to monitor claimants. Using social media sites can cost you money—reduce your settlement amount. Insurance companies monitor Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites. What you post online can harm your legal case. Refrain from posting anything online about your case, accident details, injuries, treatment, feelings, etc....ANYTHING. And do not accept friend requests from anyone that you do not know—that friend request might actually be coming from an insurance investigator.
Do not post photographs or videos of yourself participating in activities that one would think are impossible for an injured person. It is popular to post old pictures on social media sites on Thursdays and Fridays. This is often referred to as ‘Throwback Thursday’ or ‘Flashback Friday’. But that old picture of you running, skiing, snowboarding, biking, or participating in any physical activity might end up hurting your personal injury case. Even though you are injured and can no longer enjoy your favorite activities, insurance companies can use those photos to argue that you are not injured—-implying that the date that the picture was posted is the date that it was actually taken. They can use the social media post to make it look like you are lying about your injuries.
The bottom line is, when involved in any sort of legal proceedings, don’t disclose anything on social media.