Social Media and Personal Injury: What You Need to Know
When you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit against an individual or a business, you have to take notice of your social media use. The things you post on social media will remain in the public domain for the infinite future, and many posts, videos, or photos can harm your lawsuit if you are not careful. Attorneys for the opposing party will scour your social media to seek evidence against you.
Do not give the other side the power to damage your case. Here are some questions you may have about social media use during a personal injury lawsuit.
Will Opposing Attorneys Have Access to Your Social Media?
One obvious concern you may have is whether or not the attorneys for the party you are suing will have access to your social media accounts once you file the lawsuit. In most circumstances, no one will have free reign of your social media accounts. They do have the option to make a formal request to look at different parts of your accounts to disprove your claim, though you obviously would decline the request.
While you do not have to grant access to your social media regarding your private passwords, any part of your social media without privacy features turned on is public and is available for use by anyone on the other side of the lawsuit. The attorneys do not have to ask for your permission to use the information. To be safe from this scenario, be sure you have your social media locked down and private.
Will Photographs Impact the Case?
Photographs are used as evidence in cases every day and have the power to completely disprove your injury claim. You seldom see any type of social media without photographs. When you post photos to social media during your lawsuit, you potentially open yourself up to scrutiny by the attorneys for the opposing side.
For instance, if you sue a business for a slip and fall accident claiming you can no longer perform physical work due to your injury, do not post any photos of yourself horseback riding or surfing. This will provide evidence for the defendant in your case, as the attorneys will argue you are perfectly healthy to take part in physical recreational activities. Therefore, you should have the ability to do your job.
You need to be very mindful if you post photographs on social media during your lawsuit. Even if you think an activity seems innocent, think twice about posting to prevent any issues from the defense attorney.
How Should You Deal with Social Media During Your Lawsuit?
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the best offense is a good defense. Lock down your social media accounts and refrain from posting anything until the case is over. You may also want to avoid commenting on posts made by others. The defense attorney will look for anything to use against you, and innocent comments can be misinterpreted in a way that harms your case.
Many people need to be on social media on a regular basis, whether to keep up with family or for work purposes. If you need to remain on social media during the course of your lawsuit, keep your posts and comments to a minimum. Do not give the other attorneys a reason to cast doubt on your claim.
You may also want to look into the history of your social media accounts and remove posts or photos which contain any information you do not want made public or casts you in a negative way.
If you need help with your personal injury case, please contact The Cochran Firm.