Social media is an amazing tool. People can use to share ideas and to keep in touch with one another. However, social media can also destroy your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. If you were the victim of a car accident, you should be compensated for what you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.
Imagine that your car accident injury lawsuit is ending when the opposing attorney presents one of your social media posts of you with a friend while you were “missing work due to injuries.” Don’t let such a devastating mistake derail your case.
If you’ve been injured, take care of yourself. You can injure yourself further or hurt your case if you do not take the time to heal. Next, know that it is irresponsible and unacceptable to sue for ongoing pain and suffering if you’re not actually in pain or suffering. Your personal injury attorney’s job is to present your case with the most convincing evidence. Though you may have just been bragging to your followers that your friend brought you lunch…it still looks bad.
Avoid Social Media When it Comes to Personal Injury
Personal injury lawyers often tell their clients to avoid social media or to change their social media settings to private while a case is pending. Unfortunately, once you post something on the internet, removing that post permanently can be nearly impossible. Even if you change a post to private or delete the post, cached websites or archive sites will still show the content.
Assume that someone, somewhere, with enough hacking skill & determination can and will find out what you’ve put on the internet. Additionally, the other side’s lawyer can get a court order, called a subpoena, to get your social media records directly from Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, or other sites. Even if your profile and posts are private, or you recently deleted posts, the social media site may turn over your information because of that court order.
In today’s age of internet marketing, you may rely on social media for your work, and opposing counsel can also try to subpoena your phone records, text messages and GPS location data from your phone. Don’t forget that every time you check in at a location on Facebook or Yelp or Foursquare, the other side in your car accident injury lawsuit can easily gather that information.
What Should You Do to Improve Your Chances?
- Avoid social media as much as possible. When you truly cannot avoid posting, post only minimal information and set posts to private. Don’t post anything that would be embarrassing or harm your case.
- Untag any photos of yourself. Ask your friends and family not to tag you and not to post photos of you during the lawsuit. The last thing you want is a damaging photo that you didn’t even post to surface.
- Turn off GPS features on phone applications. Make your locations and activities less obvious.
- If you receive a friend request or chat from an unknown person, do not respond. Although generally the other side cannot gain access to your private social media through fraud or impersonation of someone else, you will have to blame yourself if the other side gains access with your help because you accepted an unfamiliar friend request from someone who happened to work for or associate with the other side.
- Be careful of any emails that ask for personal information. If you give such information, you may become the victim of a phishing attack, or worse, you may be providing information to people against you in the lawsuit.
Everything You Say or Post Will Be Used Against You It is more accurate to say that everything you say or post on social media definitely will be used against you in court. A lot of money, as well as your future livelihood, is at stake in these lawsuits. Don’t risk losing your case because of careless social media use. When your lawsuit ends and you’ve got the maximum payment you are owed for negligence that caused you injury, then you can feel comfortable posting on social media.
If you or a loved one has been injured and needs legal help, please contact Rob Levine & Associates. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will review your case to help you understand what your next steps should be. Getting legal help can put your mind at ease and let your focus on getting better.
At Rob Levine & Associates we are experienced in personal injury cases in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Our team is available 24/7 to help you. Contact us at 888.53.7507 or visit our website for more information.