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Keep Accident Details off Social Media, Attorney Says

Brookfield's Jonathan Groth says investigators and attorneys for insurance companies look to use those statements to their advantage.

Facebook is a fantastic place to share photos of the kids or insights about the latest flick. 

It also seems like a great place to keep family and friends updated on the healing process after an auto or occupational accident. 

But according to a Brookfield lawyer, Facebook and other social media platforms are home to investigators, lawyers and insurance companies who are gathering kernels of information in order to defend their clients. 

"There is no reason to put (your) injuries online because … words can have different meanings," said attorney Jonathan Groth of the Groth Law Firm in Brookfield. 

"Words can be used for however the person who is reading wants to use them …If it's going to help the insurance company, they are going to use it to their advantage," he said.

Groth, who specializes in representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, recommends not to discussing online accidents that may eventually involve a settlement or litigation.  

According to Groth, insurance defense attorneys will start surfing the Web as soon as they get a new case or a new claim. 

"The best thing to say is nothing at all really," he said. "I recommend not going onto Facebook and not posting immediately afterwards and certainly thinking before you do that kind of stuff. You can post about the kids getting great Christmas presents but don't post about how you are feeling after a collision," he added.  

Two attorneys and three staffers work at Groth's law firm, located at 13035 West Bluemound Road. Because it is small, the firm is able to focus on each individual client and give them the necessary attention, Groth said. 

"We can really care for and help people who are suffering and having problems because of a collision, a fall or nursing home neglect or whatever it is," he said. 
Groth said he is both an attorney and a counselor, who helps clients navigate through the health care and legal system after suffering injuries due to an accident. 

"It's odd to say this because I hate to prop up my competitors, but I do the same thing as the big guys who advertise on TV do," he said. "I hope, however, I do it differently and with more of an interest in the client's well-being." 

In addition to spending time litigating cases, he is on the phone with bill collectors,  insurance companies and doctors on behalf of his clients. 

"I am the person that they come to so they can worry about getting better," he said. 

Groth, has been practicing law in Brookfield for more than a year, graduated from Marquette Law School in 2000. 

"I wanted to be a jazz musician when I grew up but that did not work out so I went to law school instead," Groth said. 

John Bond April 02, 2014 at 04:29 PM
I'm not surprised. Insurance companies ultimate goal is make plenty of money. Generally you are charged nearly as much as your car each month to keep it insured. That means when you've paid off your vehicle, you have actually paid for two. It's good to have lawyers to keep an eye out for you and make sure you aren't getting a bad deal. John Bond | http://www.shierlaw.ca
Charlie McPoyle April 04, 2014 at 02:31 PM
I read an article about a case in Florida, where the daughter disclosed information about the case on social media. The family had won a law suit from a school for firing the dad because of his age. The terms of the law suit was that they would not disclose information about what happened and they would receive money. When the daughter spoke on the media, the family forfeited the money. http://www.martinlawyers.ca
Claudia Rosenburg May 12, 2014 at 01:00 PM
I really love social media. I think it's an amazing place to stay connected. I think it's kind of an invasion of privacy to use people's social media accounts to track this kind of information. Do you know if they can find this information if you have really high privacy settings? Claudia Rosenburg | http://www.binskywhittle.com/en/
Will Jenkins May 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM
I have my privacy settings set so no one except for my friends can see my photos, updates, etc. Are there ways where lawyers can get through these privacy settings and get info on what you've posted? I hope not! I set my privacy super strict because I don't want others but the intended audience to see what I post and am doing. Will Jenkins | http://www.donnellgroup.ca
Holly James May 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM
Wow, this is crazy! I think that it is very important that this kind of stuff stays off of social media. I have heard of some intense stories that had a not so great ending and it started out with things on social media that shouldn't be. I am grateful for the services offered by lawyers, I know I wouldn't be where I am today without them! Holly James | http://www.chrisfranzlaw.com/practice.htm

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