Social media is part of the fabric of our lives today. We share almost everything and anything. If you’re going through a lawsuit, particularly a personal injury case, social media can be your enemy. Here are things to know about social media and why you may want to avoid it during your lawsuit.
Nothing Is Really Private Online
You can reset your privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter, but anything you share could be fair game for the defendant’s lawyers. You can even delete posts, but if someone made a screenshot, it could come back to haunt you. Lock down what you can.
Resist Temptation to Post About Your Accident
We all want to let friends know when we’re in a crisis, but a seemingly harmless post can discredit your claims that you were injured. That post that says, “I was in an accident, but I’m OK,” may be what the defendant’s lawyers can use to show that you weren’t really injured in the accident. Sure, you might have been fine at the time, but many soft tissue injuries aren’t obvious right away.
New Posts Can Show You Aren’t as Injured as You Claim
Your posts may not be related to the injuries or the accident at all, but they can still be used against you. Maybe you’re tagged in a wedding photo, which shows you at a party, when you’re claiming that you can’t do things. You might have dragged yourself out there, relying on pain medication, but the story is still out there. You can’t imagine how the defense team may use your posts against you, but they might.
Don’t Private Message About Your Case
You may think you can use private messages to talk about your case, since they are “private.” Anything you say online can be used against you. Some courts have gone as far to order plaintiffs to give up their social media passwords to the defense team to collect evidence. It’s rare, but it can and does happen.
Talk to Your Lawyer About Your Social Media Use
It can be difficult to stay off social media. If you can’t avoid it, talk to a personal injury lawyer about using social media during your lawsuit. A hiatus may make sense for some people, but when your job includes social media, it might not be an option. You just want to make sure your social media use won’t impact your case. Talk to a personal injury attorney about it.