Social media has made our world smaller and has connected people across the globe. It’s a technological advancement that has made it easy to share the good times with those we can’t see in person every day. But for all the benefits it can bring, social media can be the enemy of personal injury lawsuits. That’s because the defendants in personal injury cases will often use a person’s presence on social media against them. Social media is a way for defendants to surveil your life through what you, and others, post online.
Here are some ways social media can be damaging to your personal injury cases.
The most important thing to understand is that everything posted online is public. Even if you have taken the time to protect your posts and information by setting the highest privacy levels on your account, you don’t have total control of who sees what. Just because you post something to Facebook, for example, doesn’t mean someone you aren’t friends with on the site won’t see it.
Family, friends and neighbors can easily post pictures of you to their social media sites, too. Even if you’re not doing anything suspicious, defendants who find social media posts that include you will try to take what they find out of context to use it against you. They may try to use a picture of you smiling near a pool as evidence that you’re happy and able to swim, even if the reality is you had to be helped over to the chair you are sitting in, you never swam and you were in pain most of the day.
What’s posted to social media is there forever. Good internet sleuths will be able to find deleted social media posts. So even if you realize your mistake, it may be too late. Further, deleting social media posts when you are involved in a personal injury case could be considered tampering with evidence, even if you didn’t do so with malicious intent.
If you’re involved in a personal injury case, be extremely careful with social media. In fact, it’s in your best interest to not social media at all. If you already have accounts, don’t delete them. Just don’t use them.
Make sure your privacy settings are at the highest level, and don’t accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t personally know. Insurance companies and defendants will often try to gain access to your social media posts by having people friend or follow you.
A reputable and trustworthy attorney can help guide you in the best ways to handle social media while you’re going through a personal injury case. Call Fetterman & Associates today for a free consultation at (561) 845-2510.
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