Dear Reader,

Posting on social media is now a primary way many of us connect with friends, family, and our community.  We celebrate life events, talk about vacation plans, and document our day with smiling back-to-school photos, witty insight into what’s happening in our lives, and the occasional rant about politics.

It’s become so common for many of us to post on social media that sometimes we do so to our detriment, posting pictures or making statements we later sorely regret.  It’s with this in mind that I urge caution with what you share online.  Everyone watching your postings is not your friend, a good person, or someone with your interests in mind.  Sometimes the person reading your posts is the last one on earth you want viewing pictures of your child or learning about your vacation plans.

A seemingly innocent back-to-school post in front of your child’s school tells a would-be predator more than you’d ever want them to know about where you live and your child’s daily routine.

A post stating “I can’t wait till next week when we leave for our week-long vacation!” tells anyone following your posts when and for how long your home will be unoccupied.  Easy pickings for a would-be burglar.

Another huge mistake I’ve seen countless people make is posting on social media after an auto collision.   I’ve counseled dozens of people who’ve destroyed their chances of receiving fair compensation for their injuries and losses because of a seemingly innocent statement or image they posted online.

If you’re involved in a personal injury claim here’s what you need to know about posting on social media:

  • Your posts can be used against you. Insurance companies and opposing legal teams may scour your social media profiles to find evidence contradicting your claim. If you suffer a back or neck injury in an auto collision, then weeks later post about how you’re glad to be back at the gym or post a picture of you and your family enjoying a sunset stroll in your neighborhood, this can be used to argue that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim.
  • If you appear to be leading a normal active life on social media despite claiming serious injuries, this can lead to doubts about the severity of your injuries and raise questions as to whether you’re genuinely suffering as much as you claim.
  • Once something is posted on social media, it can potentially be there forever. Even if you try to remove it, the damage could remain, with screenshots and others sharing your post.   A seemingly innocent update after an auto collision, something like, “The guy came out of nowhere and ran into me, I’m lucky to be alive!”  can indicate you were not paying as much attention as you should and once you post, it’s fair game for anyone to see and use how they see fit.

You may have guessed, but I’m not a huge fan of how some of us use social media.  I understand it has its place.  Still, I urge you to use common sense and caution when posting.  Just because they follow you doesn’t mean they’re friends—and displaying the details of your life leaves you vulnerable in ways you may not always recognize.

If you or someone you love is ever injured in an auto collision or due to someone else’s negligence, I urge you to stay off social media until you call my office. We can discuss the nature of your case and I’ll be happy to go over what you should or should not say about the incident (You may have guessed, my answer will be, POST NOTHING.)

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.

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