NEWPORT, Rhode Island – Social networking, though effective for staying in touch with family and friends, has become a tool used by insurance companies, and other organizations, to gather evidence. Posts on popular websites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, have real potential to damage a personal injury claim.

“Insurance companies and claim agents use Google, Yahoo! and other search engines to access social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo and find information they can use against you,” said Attorney Ann Sheeley of Sheeley Law. “They look for posts or pictures about how the accident happened, who caused it, who was at fault and its effects — even posts that have nothing to do with the accident.”

Sheeley strongly recommends taking down or deactivating all individual social networking pages while a claim is being pursued. Short of deactivating the page, there are precautions that can be taken.

– Immediately make your profile “private,” and set all privacy settings to the highest level.

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– Do not discuss your accident, injuries or treatment, including any prescribed medication, on these sites.

– Do not discuss activities you’ve engaged in, physical exertion, abilities and limitations, or any other information that may bear on what you can and cannot do because of your injuries—even in a way unrelated to the lawsuit.

– Remove all photographs and videos of you taken since your injury, and refrain from posting until your claim has been resolved.

– Be sure you know everybody who is your “friend.” Do not accept friend requests from people you do not personally know.

– Review your friend list and block anyone you are not 100 percent confident you know and trust. The Defendant could pose as a friend to access your personal page or to place or obtain incriminating evidence that can negatively affect your lawsuit.

Over the past decade, Attorney Ann Sheeley has successfully obtained more than $36,000,000 in damages awarded in personal injury cases.

For more information, visit or call (888) 774-0007.

About Sheeley Law, LLC

Sheeley Law, LCC is headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, with offices in Pawtucket, Providence and Warwick. Attorney Ann Sheeley is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Rhode Island Association for Justice, the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Rhode Island Bar Journal Referral Service which provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to financially challenged Rhode Island residents, and the Newport Chamber of Commerce.