In a few short years, social media has become an inescapable addition to our lives. Each day, one of the first and last things we do include browsing and sharing news and photos with our networks. While these habits are part of our daily routine, in the midst of a personal injury case, it’s advisable to pull away from those activities for some time.
Everything on the internet is public, including so-called “private” profiles. Considerable amounts of personal details can be obtained with a quick scroll over your page. Because all this information is available for general public consumption or for purchase, courts are increasingly allowing social media transcripts admission in court.
Recovered information can be used to prosecute or defend a claim. It’s not unusual that the other party looks for evidence to call your credibility into question. If you decide to continue posting in the midst of an insurance investigation or personal injury litigation, consider the following suggestions:
- Readjust your privacy settings. Limit your profile to be viewed only by friends. Don’t allow others to post about or tag you without your permission.
- Don’t “friend” strangers. Though it poses some ethical concerns, strangers could be an involved party who intends on using information against you at trial.
- Monitor what you divulge. Images and comments taken out of context can prove hard to defend and easily affect the way a judge or jury views the situation later.
- Avoid uploading details. Don’t post anything to social media before speaking with legal counsel. This includes rants, photos, or video of an accident scene or injury. However, be sure to take photos for your records.
- Don’t “clean” your networks. This advice is particularly advisable if your personal injury case has already begun. Instead, deactivate, decrease the use of, or refrain from posting.
You should always be honest with your attorney, your insurance company, your physician, and any other contributing groups. We can’t guarantee that these tips will prevent outside parties from gaining access to your information, but it does serve to limit possible damage and give you some sort of standard of control.
If you have specific questions on how your online activities may interfere with your personal injury case, McAleer Law is here to help. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook, but don’t hesitate to call at (404) 622-5337.