Smartphone Social Media - Personal Injury Law

Although social media is an amazing tool that people can use to share ideas and keep in touch, social media can destroy your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit.

If you were the victim of a car accident, you should be compensated what you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.

Imagine your car accident injury lawsuit is coming to an end and you can almost feel victory, when the opposing counsel presents one of your social media posts–the one of you skydiving last week. While you were “missing work due to injuries.”

Don’t let such a devastating mistake derail your case.

In the first place, if you’ve been injured, you really should take care of yourself. It’s flat out irresponsible to sue for ongoing pain and suffering if you’re not actually in pain or actually suffering.

But secondly, your personal injury attorney’s job is to present your case with the most convincing evidence; don’t give the opposing counsel ammo to fire back with.

Can You Avoid Social Media?

Personal injury lawyers often tell their clients to avoid social media or to change their social media settings to private while a case is pending. Unfortunately, once you post something on the internet, removing that post permanently can be nearly impossible. Even if you change a post to private or delete the post, cached websites or archive sites will still show the content.

Act paranoid. Assume that someone, somewhere, with enough hacking skill & determination can and will find out what you’ve put on the internet.  Tweet This!

Additionally, the other side’s lawyer can get a court order, called a subpoena, to get your social media records directly from Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or other sites. Even if your profile and posts are private, or you recently deleted posts, the social media site may turn over your information because of that court order.

In today’s age of internet marketing, you may rely on social media for your work, and opposing counsel can also try to subpoena your phone records, text messages and GPS location data from your phone. Don’t forget that every time you check in at a location on Facebook or Yelp or Foursquare, the other side in your car accident injury lawsuit can easily gather that information.

What Should You Do to Improve Your Chances

  • Avoid social media as much as possible.

    When you truly cannot avoid posting, post only minimal information and set posts to private.  Don’t post anything that would be embarrassing or harm your case.

  • Untag any photos of yourself.

    Ask your friends and family not to tag you and not to post photos of you during the lawsuit. The last thing you want is a damaging photo that you didn’t even post to surface.

  • Turn off GPS features on phone applications.

    Make your locations and activities less obvious.

  • If you receive a friend request or chat from an unknown person, do not respond.

    Although generally the other side cannot gain access to your private social media through fraud or impersonation of someone else, you will have to blame yourself if the other side gains access with your help because you accepted an unfamiliar friend request from someone who happened to work for or associate with the other side.

  • Be careful of any emails that ask for personal information.

    If you give such information, you may become the victim of a phishing attack, or worse, you may be providing information to people against you in the lawsuit.

Everything You Say or Post Will Be Used Against You

The old saying goes that anything you say may be used against you in court. It is more accurate to say that everything you say or post on social media definitely will be used against you in court. A lot of money, as well as your future livelihood, is at stake in these lawsuits. Don’t risk losing your case because of careless social media use.

When your lawsuit ends and you’ve got the maximum payment you are owed for negligence that caused you injury, then you can feel comfortable posting on social media. Still–you should always listen to the advice of your attorney before you take any action.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t take it to Facebook…call Kuzyk Law instead, and get a free consultation on whether you’ve got a case or not!