Facebook has over 350 million users, making it the most popular social networking site in the world. It has allowed millions of people to reconnect after many years of lost contact as well as provided a means of making new friends. However, for those involved in a workers' compensation case or personal injury case, your facebook postings could damage or completely destroy your case. How? Recently, courts have ordered injured plaintiffs to produce their Facebook pages to insurance company lawyers. If there are recent photos of you posted by your friends, they can be viewed by people outside your network of "friends", despite your privacy settings.

Evidence from Facebook has been admitted in courts and has been used by police, investigators and media. In fact, firms representing the insurance company can have their lawyers and clerks search Facebook for the injured party's pages, profiles and pictures. THIS DOES HAPPEN! The Internet and social networking sites have changed the face of litigation in this country. However, there are some precautions you can take to protect yourself, short of boycotting the Internet all together. First, be vigilant in reviewing the photos and posts on your social networking site. Remove anything that you would not want an insurance company lawyer to see that could help defend against your case. Next, Check your privacy settings which enable you to block certain people from seeing you on a particular site (Facebook allows this). It is also helpful to search your name in the search field and see what comes up to make sure it is acceptable (it is advisable to do this on Google and YouTube as well). Finally never accept friend requests or respond to emails from people you do not know.

This information is meant to help those with legitimate workers' compensation and personal injury claims. Often times a insurance company will attempt to portray a photo out of context in an attempt to damage your case. It is easier to avoid this problem by monitoring your social media content rather than trying to explain away a potentially compromising photo. In short, be cautious of what you post on a social network and be aware of what others are posting.

If you have questions regarding this article or would like a free consultation regarding your workers' compensation or personal injury case, contact Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. at 1-800-556-8890.