How to Handle Social Media During Your Personal Injury Case
Social media is completely pervasive in so many of our lives—it’s everywhere. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be someone who is “addicted” to social media, it’s still likely that you use it in some form or fashion.
Even if you don’t personally use social media accounts you may have friends or family members who do, and that can also leave you vulnerable to having your personal information shared.
While it’s always wise to exercise caution when it comes to social media usage, this becomes particularly true when you’re in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts can certainly be used against you and that’s the last thing you want to derail your lawsuit.
Here are some general tips to protect your privacy and your case:
- If you want to exercise the most possible caution, go ahead and disable your social media accounts in the time leading up to your personal injury case as well as during. If you simply adjust your privacy settings it is still possible for your personal information to be discovered, and the contents of a social media account can be requested by the other side’s legal team. The best policy is to simply avoid the temptation to post anything that can work against you.
- If you are going to keep your social media accounts active during your lawsuit, always realize that even past posts and information from before your accident and lawsuit can work against you in court.
- Don’t forget about your blog. Many people use blogs for personal purposes and it can turn into something like an online diary—for that reason you may not even realize you’ve posted something that will work against you when sharing your thoughts with your readers. Go ahead and disable it during your lawsuit to be on the safe side.
- Do a general search—you need to see what’s floating around the Internet about you and do your best to eliminate anything that’s unfavorable. A quick Google search can help you glean insight as to what could be shared about you.
- As well as watching your own postings and shared content, you should also monitor your friends and family. If someone you know posts a photo or video of you, or shares a status updates that puts you in a particular location or at a certain event can become problematic.
What’s important to understand about your Internet life and a personal injury lawsuit is that you don’t even have to be lying for it to become problematic. The opposing legal team is going to likely be experienced in taking something that’s innocent-seeming and turning it against you—social media provides the perfect easy opportunity for that to happen.
If you’ve involved in any type of lawsuit, particularly when it comes to personal injury, the best thing you can do is to use an overabundance of caution from the start. If you’re unsure of what can be used against you or what could present a problem, consult your personal injury attorney.