Lawsuits & Social Media
The rule of thumb when involved in a lawsuit is not to discuss your case with anyone, except your attorney.
This advice holds true for posting information on social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Even though these sites can be wonderful in keeping in touch with friends and family, it can be your worst enemy if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
Why would social networking be bad? Well, there are a variety of factors that affect personal injury cases, including the severity of the injury, physical evidence, whether there were existing injuries or conditions, a person’s ability to work, the negligence of one or more parties, and statements made by any of the parties. As more people become involved in social media activities, lawyers and investigators are using these websites to research parties and determine whether there is fraud, exaggeration, conflicting statements, or additional evidence that is relevant to the case. Investigators may go undercover to a friend or follow you than read your blogs. If they can’t gain access by themselves, they will try to use your existing connections as a Trojan Horse to access your social media sites. Social media sites are often great sources of information and evidence in personal injury lawsuits, especially when people freely discuss their lives online and post photos.
Social Media Precautions
It is wise to refrain from using any sort of social media while your case is on-going. But if you just cannot do without it, use it responsibly. Here are some tips on social media precautions you should take:
- Make sure all social media settings are on “private.”
- Do not accept invitations from strangers on social media outlets.
- Do not post photos or videos of yourself or enable others to “tag” you.
- Do not send emails or post texts about your case to anyone except your attorneys.
It is also important for your friends and family to know that they should not post any information on their social networking sites that are about you or that could be detrimental to your case. Also, be aware that even if you have set all of your information to the highest privacy settings, the other side could still attempt to obtain the information. Defense attorneys are becoming more and more likely to seek a court order to view content that an individual has set as private on a site like Facebook
It is not a matter of your lying about anything, but rather of what you post being misconstrued or twisted around to work against you. Thus, maintain a low profile, both on and off the internet.
If you have been involved in an accident, having the right legal guidance can be invaluable to the outcome of your case. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. today for a free initial consultation.