How Social Media Can Hurt your Claim
You might not have thought about this, but what is posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can really (negatively) affect your personal injury case.
Here is an example of how this could happen.
Defense Attorney: “So, your injuries have kept you from doing your normal activities?”
You, the Injury Victim: “Yes, I can’t do anything I used to do.”
Defense: “And you used to garden regularly, but now you can’t?”
Defense: “Can you tell me who is gardening in this photo, taken by your daughter two months after your accident and post to her Facebook account?”
You: “Me, but I was only out there for 10 minutes because…”
Defense: “I understand. Gardening must not be a ‘normal activity.’ (sarcasm) No further questions.”
As you can see, it is very important to monitor everything about your online presence.
Some suggestions we have to prevent this from happening is:
- Consider disabling or changing the privacy settings on your social media and blog accounts.
- Google yourself. If you find anything that could affect your case, consider removing it.
- Do not post anything about your accident, your injuries, your recovery, or your case. Ask your friends to refrain from doing so as well. This include, pictures, comments, and video.
Do not destroy evidence. But you don’t have to offer evidence to the entire world, either. Taking pictures off the Internet is not the same as destroying evidence. You are legally required to cooperate with the opposition in certain ways, but you certainly do not need to make their job easier by making evidence public.
Also, the fact that items, updates, blogs, etc., can be removed from the Internet does not mean you have the freedom to do whatever you want and just not post it online. You should not lie or attempt to conceal evidence. Remember, even with these new social media outlets, opposing counsel can still find out about your activities and the old-fashioned way: by talking to family, friends, and doctors, and even by hiding in the bushes and videotaping you.