The recent popularity of Web 2.0 and Social Media sites have prompted the insurance industry to take notice. Many insurance companies now routinely utilize software programs that “scour” the Internet for social media information on injury victims. This includes all the popular social networking sites, including:
- and dozens of other sites
For years, unscrupulous defense attorneys hired by these insurance companies have used the formal discovery process to intimidate and harass personal injury victims. These defense attorneys now see social networking information as a new means to harass personal injury victims. Unfortunately, many judges have ruled in favor of defense attorneys and their insurance company clients in ordering the production of all of the social networking communications under the theory that injury victims do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they communicate through these sites.
There have also been instances where defense attorneys have asked their legal assistants, paralegals, and even family members to “friend” an injury victim in order for the defense attorney to obtain the social networking communications. While this clearly violates the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule prohibiting communications with a person that is represented by a different attorney, the damage may have already been done.
If you have been involved in a Wisconsin personal injury accident, be cognizant of the fact that there is an insurance company out their trying to invade your privacy and ALWAYS assume they will be reading your social networking status updates, posts and messages.
For more insight on how to protect your Wisconsin Personal Injury Case, Order your free copy of a Consumer’s Guide to Personal Injury Claims in Wisconsin.