Nowadays, social media is one big part of our lives. We share pictures, statuses, and everything about ourselves, just so that we feel we are connected to our friends and family. Around 61% of millennials use social media as a means to communicate with their friends and family – so, whether something good or bad happens to us, we end up sharing it.
But when a personal injury lawsuit is involved, sharing is not always caring. What you post on your social media account can be used against you, which is why you need to be extra careful. Usually, lawyers would recommend against using social media altogether, but for longer cases, you may get away by following these very important rules.
1. Adjust Your Privacy Settings
If your profile is public, you might want to make a couple of privacy settings. Limit your audience so that only friends can see your post, make your posts available to only a few select people, and make exclusions with “Friends Except” when you have tricky friends on your list.
Set it so that people cannot tag you unless you review and accept the tag. Ideally, you should make your profile as private as possible – but remember, still maintain caution, as nothing is ever actually private.
2. Don’t Make Any Posts Immediately After the Accident
As social media consumers, we have the urge of letting our friends know everything that happens to us. We make a post where we say we had an accident, but feel fine and can’t wait to get home and blow off some steam.
Your friends will be overjoyed to know this, but so will the party that you are trying to sue – mainly because you are saying you do not have any health problems after all. They will use this against you in court, and even though you may have had injuries that you did not notice, your post expressed otherwise.
3. Resist Creating New Posts During the Lawsuit
For some people, posting everything on social media is like an itch they are supposed to scratch – but to keep your personal injury suit safe, you might want to refrain from posting anything.
A man, for example, lost a lawsuit simply because he posted a “stair surfing” video when he supposedly had his back injured. It might be a funny video, and your friends might just love it – but so will the court. If they see that you are doing fine on social media or comment things such as “I’m fine and healthy,” then it might just mean you’ll lose your personal injury case.
4. Refrain from Sending Private Messages About Your Case
We know what you are thinking: I can’t post, but I can still talk privately, right? Wrong! A judge can get a warrant to access your social media account, and you will be required to give them your username and password. This case is rare and only applies in extreme circumstances, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
5. Encourage Your Friends and Family Not to Post About You
Sure, you’re not the one who posted – but everything that your friends post about you will also be directly connected to your timeline. Let’s say that you are supposedly injured and suffering, but a friend tags you in a picture where you are feeling joyful and doing tequila shots. This does not paint a very good picture of you.
This is why you should advise your friends against posting or commenting about you on social media because you don’t know who might be “listening.”
6. Ask Your Lawyer for Advice in Specific Cases
In some cases, it might be impossible to stop using social media – and we are not talking about that itch to post here. For instance, let’s say that you are an influencer that makes a living using your lifestyle blog, or perhaps you have a business that requires you to post constantly. In that case, it might not be very easy for you to quit using social media.
You might want to ask your lawyer for guidance on how to do your job safely. Bear in mind that you may want to get a lawyer that is mostly familiar with your state law. Cases concerning influencers in Clarksville, Tennessee may be treated differently as compared to Richmond, Virginia. If you live in Clarksville, don’t go for other, “better” lawyers from nearby states or cities. Stick to Clarksville personal injury lawyers who are more familiar with the local laws and have had similar cases before.
7. Consider Taking a Social Media Break
Perhaps the best way to ensure your social media account does not affect your lawsuit is to stop using it altogether. A social media break can actually be beneficial, and aside from preventing the other party from using your posts against you, you can use this opportunity to work on yourself. Use an old-fashioned journal to express your thoughts and not your Twitter account.
The Bottom Line
Caution on social media is always recommended when a personal injury lawsuit is involved. Everything you say, even in the online world, may be used against you – so, make sure not to give the other party this opportunity.