Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, share, and advertise
to each other, and it’s also had a profound effect on the legal
profession. What you may not realize is just how much of an impact your
online conduct could have on your personal injury lawsuit. Let’s
take a closer look at how social media can impact your case and what you
can do to prevent it from coming back to bite you.
Social Media Content is Admissible Evidence
When you’re embroiled in a legal battle, it’s a good practice
to assume you’re being watched at all times. This is important because
anything and everything you do will be heavily scrutinized by the insurance
company or responsible party in an effort to try to absolve themselves
of liability. As a result, anything and everything you say and do in both
online and in public could be used against you.
For example, if you fall down at work and injure your arm, you most likely
won’t want the insurance company responsible for paying for your
injuries to see you out bowling with friends: that would essentially indicate
that your arm is in better condition than you’re claiming. On that
same note, pictures of you bowling with friends posted online could wind
up in the hands of the defendant in your injury case, who will likely
submit them to the court and request your case be dropped. Even if you
weren’t actually bowling, they could still try to use it against
you if there’s evidence of you being there.
This also applies to what you say: no matter how “private”
or “secure” you think your profiles might be, anything you
type and post online could wind up before the eyes of someone who you
don’t want reading it, which means it could and probably will be
twisted and used against you to the fullest extent.
Best Social Media Practices
So what can you do in today’s social media world that won’t
jeopardize your case? Well the easiest and probably most effective way
of preventing your social media presence from coming back to haunt you
is to simply stay off social media for a while. If you can, deactivate
your accounts, close down your profiles, and stay out of the digital sphere.
However, if this isn’t practical or possible, the next best thing
you can do is to make your profiles as private as possible and then carefully
regulate what you say or post. Before you hit the submit button on that
Facebook rant or long-form tweet, ask yourself this question: what is
the absolute worst possible way this could be twisted and used against
you? If the answer could put your case in jeopardy, don’t post it.
If it still wouldn’t affect your case, then you’re probably
okay to go.
It’s also important to make sure you have an ally on your side.
Contact an Altoona personal injury attorney from Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt and Smith today!