If you’re involved in a personal injury case, then you already know you have to be careful with what you say, and what you do. However, in the age of social media, it’s more important than ever for you to be careful with what information you let slip out into the world. Because all it takes is a photo, a status, or a few errant comments to do serious damage to your personal injury case… especially if the other side gets hold of that information, and brings it up in court.
The Possibility Of Harming Your Case
As soon as you bring a personal injury case, the other side is going to look for holes in your argument. Even if you have been injured, and that injury is affecting your life in meaningful ways, they will still look for mitigating circumstances to avoid either responsibility or to argue that your injuries aren’t as bad as you make them out to be.
As Gordon and Gibson point out, social media provides people with a window into your life. As such, any errant comments you make, or pictures you’re tagged in, could be dragged into the case. As an example, say your back has been injured, and that’s the subject of your case. If you post about helping a friend move, that could be used to call your injuries into question. Now, you might have a reasonable explanation (you just wrapped plates, and did no heavy lifting, for example), but that can still cast aspersions on your claims. And there’s no reason to make the case tougher than it already is.
Anything you say on social media might be taken out of context. If you meant a statement as a general regret that you were in an accident, the other side might claim it’s an admission of fault. If your mother makes comments about your case out of frustration on your behalf, then you might find your confidentiality in tatters if you shared case details with her. Even if you’re just too active on the Internet, and you seem “too normal” that could be used to back a claim that your injuries are not as bad as you claim they are.
How Do You Avoid All This?
So how do you maintain your privacy in such a connected, technological world? Well, the most important thing for you to do is to take a deep breath, step back from your regular social media activity for a moment, and ask yourself if what you’re about to say, do, or post could be taken out of context by the other side of your case. Then ask how someone who doesn’t know you might see the comments you’re making, or the activities you’re part of. Because you won’t be pleading your case to friends and family, but to a judge, and possibly to a jury.
Most of the time that means you won’t be doing a lot of posting on social media. At least not until after your claim is resolved. You should be suspicious of friend requests from people you don’t know, and you should keep as much information about what’s going on between yourself and your lawyer as possible. You don’t have to go completely dark, but you do need to think carefully about what you’re putting on Twitter, Facebook, or your other social media pages. Because the last thing you want to see when your case is being decided is the opposition bring up something you said in innocence, and to use your own words to try to discredit the very real injuries you’ve sustained.
For more advice on how you can avoid jeopardizing your personal injury case, simply contact us today!