The Legal Risks of Social Media Posts During Personal Injury Cases
In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. However, when it comes to legal matters such as personal injury cases, the impact of social media posts can be detrimental. Let’s delve into the potential risks and consequences of sharing details about your case on social platforms.
Why You Should Avoid Posting After a Crash
After a crash, the urge to keep your close friends and family in the loop is understandable. It may seem easier to create a quick Facebook post to let everyone know what is going on all at once. The urge to share updates or to seek support on social media may be strong, but it’s crucial to resist this temptation.
Recovery is always different from case to case but let’s take a look at a scenario we see all too often.
Let’s say that as a result of your accident, you struggle with pain every day. Your life has been miserable since the crash and the things that used to bring you joy are becoming harder and harder to do. Then one day a friend calls you up to meet the crew and go bowling. They know you won’t be able to throw a ball, but maybe you could just join them for a few laughs and to hang out. After some convincing, you decide you could use some social time, so you head out.
You spend most of the evening (uncomfortably) on the bench, but eventually, you start to have some fun. Since you’re having a good time, you decide to capture the moment and grab a quick selfie with your friends to post to Instagram. No harm, right? WRONG.
Clearly, you didn’t understand the social media legal risks in personal injury cases. Posting a quick pic may seem harmless in the moment, but these pictures lack context.
If you try to tell a jury that you haven’t been able to go out with friends and have been stuck at home, then the insurance company’s lawyer shows them a picture YOU SHARED of you smiling with your pals at the bowling alley, your claim of a life of pain-filled restrictions just became a lot harder to prove.
Posts can be misconstrued and used against you in court, potentially weakening your case. It’s best to refrain from sharing any details or photos of the crash or your recovery period to prevent compromising your lawsuit.
If you have questions about the progress of your case, don’t ask friends on Facebook! Call your lawyer and they should be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
The Perils of Sharing Case Details on Social Media: Your Privacy is NOT Guaranteed
Even if your social media profiles are private or you are communicating in private messages, this does not guarantee protection. Insurance lawyers can still access and use the information posted, and conversations with family and friends about the case are discoverable.
It’s essential to exercise caution and avoid discussing any aspects of your legal case on social platforms.
“Can My Texts Be Used as Evidence?”
“I’ve heard that text messages from my phone aren’t safe and that they can be used against me in court. Is that true?”We’re often asked if personal text messages can be used as evidence in court.” -Common question we get asked.
Yes, your personal text messages (even ones sent to your phone) can be used against you in legal proceedings. Text messages, like other forms of digital communication, can be subject to discovery in legal cases. If relevant to the case, your text messages can be requested and reviewed by the opposing legal party. They can also potentially be used as evidence in court.
The idea behind this is that text messages can provide insight into your actions, intentions, and state of mind. They may also provide insight into other factors that could be relevant to the case. For example, in personal injury cases, messages where you discuss your injuries, activities, or how the accident occurred. These could all impact the claims about the extent of your injuries or your account of the event.
It’s important to be mindful of the potential legal implications of your communications when involved in or anticipating legal action.
The Risk of Disclosing Treatment Progress
Sharing updates about treatment progress on social media can carry substantial risks. Information can be taken out of context and used against you. To safeguard your privacy and maintain the integrity of your case, it’s imperative to refrain from discussing treatment progress or any medical details related to your lawsuit on social media.
Discoverability of Social Media Conversations
Conversations about your case on social media are discoverable, regardless of whether they can be remembered. Once a lawsuit is filed, you are subject to the judge’s orders, including producing social media login information.
It’s crucial to consider the content and context of your online interactions. They may be used as evidence.
Not-so Innocent Comments
Imagine you’re scrolling through your social media feed and see a friend’s post asking how you’re doing after your recent accident. You reply, “Doing much better, thanks! Can’t wait to get back on the bike!” It seems innocent enough. It’s just a single comment. A simple update to a friend. However, this single comment could be misconstrued by insurance companies as evidence that you’ve fully recovered, diminishing the perceived impact of your injuries.
The Illusion of Safety in Deletion
While it may seem that deleting a post removes it from scrutiny, this is not the case. Timing of deletion and the ability to retrieve deleted content can significantly impact a lawsuit.
Insurance companies can retrieve deleted posts, and the timing of deletions, especially after a discovery request, can potentially reflect negatively on your case.
Admissibility of Posts and Messages in Court
Social media posts must be relevant to be admissible in court. That said, even posts or mentions by others may become discoverable if you had control over the information.
In other words, anything you post, share, or are tagged in could potentially be scrutinized under the law. Specifically, if it pertains to your case or character. Even check-ins, story features, posts, tags, and private messages can all be used as evidence to support or contradict your claims.
There’s a broad reach and impact to your digital footprint – especially during legal proceedings. It’s important to understand the potential impact of these digital footprints on your case.
“Don’t Post About Your Case on Social Media. Period.”
A quick quote from our very own Pete Leehey may be the best way to roll into the conclusion.
The risks associated with sharing details about your legal case on social media are substantial. It’s crucial to exercise extreme caution and refrain from posting any information on social media. Don’t engage in conversations about your lawsuit on social platforms. Now you understand the potential consequences of social media posting. By taking proactive measures you can protect your case integrity. Your actions are the first step to safeguarding your legal rights.
If you’ve been injured in a crash, contact The Biker Lawyers and get the justice and compensation you deserve. Complete the form below to request a FREE case evaluation.