Social media has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Many find social networking to be a great tool for getting in touch with old friends, storing photos, and conversing online. With many social networks available and popular nowadays, information can be shared and distributed online with incredible ease and speed. However, social media can pose risks of which many users are unaware. According to the American Bar Association, many courts will consider social media as a form of evidence in cases. In fact, if you bring a personal injury claim, you may have your social media records subpoenaed and used against you by the defense. Things like photos, comments, videos, and just about anything else may be employed by the defense to ruin your claim, and your chances at proper compensation for your injuries.
Taking Extra Care Online
If you are in the process of working out a personal injury claim, you need to take extra care with your online presence. The defense will try to do everything they can to cast doubt on your claim in court, so it is important to be aware of how your social media presence appears. If you are in the process of taking legal action against a person or entity and you have a social media profile active right now, take a look at these tips and measures to keep your privacy and your case safe:
- Temporary Deactivation: The simplest way to protect your online persona from being seen by anyone you wouldn't want to is to not have one at all. Most social networking sites will allow users to temporarily deactivate their account, while still preserving all data associated with it. This means that you can "turn off" your online presence for the duration of the proceedings, and "turn it back on" after the action has concluded.
- Do Not Post Any Comments: You will want to avoid posting any comments that might be misinterpreted. Especially avoid discussing the trial, your injuries, and the overall case itself. You don't want any comments you have made to come up against you in court.
- Do Not Post Any Photos or Videos: You will want to avoid posting any photos or videos of yourself, as these can easily be misinterpreted. Suppose you have broken your collarbone and a photo is taken of you without a sling; the defense will try to suggest you are not properly caring for your injuries.
- Do Not Allow Anyone to Post Photos or Videos of You: You may be able to control the content you put online, but you also have to worry about content others put online. If you are at an event and someone is taking photographs or videos you should kindly ask to be left out.
- Do Not "Check In" or "Tag" Yourself: Many social networks feature the ability to "check in" to a location or be "tagged" in a photo or event. Disabling such actions might be the smartest course of action for a victim in a personal injury case. Regardless of what actually occurred, the defense may try to suggest that you being out and about is not characteristic of someone who has been seriously injured.