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How Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

March 26, 2019 in

As a rule, it is always best to avoid posting on social media during any personal injury lawsuit. Even if you do not post anything related to your case, your activities on social media could complicate your ongoing case and may even affect the outcome in some situations. If you rely on social media for work or just enjoy using it very frequently, be sure to ask your attorney about proper social media use during your lawsuit. Do not be surprised if the attorney recommends avoiding it entirely during your case. You may be safe to browse timelines and news but refrain from posting anything at all.

Why Avoid Social Media?

A personal injury lawsuit allows an injured plaintiff to secure compensation that makes him or her whole again after another party’s negligence causes a serious injury. Proving the other party’s negligence is a very important part of any personal injury case, but the plaintiff’s attorney must also prove the extent of the plaintiff’s claimed damages and how they have harmed the plaintiff. In some cases, a plaintiff’s social media posts could conflict with the plaintiff’s claims.

Often, posts and pictures can be taken out of context.  When people post, they often do not consider the scrutiny that the opposing side will give it.

Social Media as Evidence

Social media platforms are essentially a public space; although the interactions that occur online on social media websites happen in digital spaces, they carry the same weight as any other public statement or public display. Anyone who uses social media should only do so under the assumption that his or her posts are public record; that is, anyone can potentially find them.

Today, the prevalence of social media should encourage any personal injury plaintiff to assume that his or her profiles will be the first places the defense will look for mitigating evidence against the plaintiff.

Avoid Legal Discussions on Social Media

It is possible to continue normal social media use during a lawsuit, but always remember to refrain from talking about anything related to your case or your current condition at all. Even seemingly innocuous or vague posts taken out of context can negatively impact your case. There should be no expectation of privacy concerning anything you post on social media. There have been case decisions allowing defense access to your private postings.  You should assume that anything you post will later be made public in the course of your law suit so you should not post anything you do not want anyone else to see.  If the defense can take anything out of context to cast doubt on the legitimacy of your claim or your level of fault for the incident in question, you could potentially put your recovery at risk.