Social media can become a part of your life that is almost second nature. When something happens to you or when you have something fun planned, you may make a comment that could be used against you in court. Be careful what you say on social media or do not say anything at all. Here’s what you should know about how social media can affect your personal injury case. '
Why Social Media Matters
The goal of the defense attorney is to gather evidence that your life was not negatively impacted by the injury. Defense attorneys sometimes go to the length of hiring a private detective to observe your day-to-day life. However, this is not necessary if you make a post that undermines a claim you are making. A post may be used to argue that your quality of life was not diminished.
When filing a lawsuit, you should always make sure that the basis upon which you file the lawsuit is true. Telling the truth will strengthen your case. However, even a statement that is made in jest on social media could be taken literally and used as a reason dismiss your claim.
How Seemingly Harmless Posts Can Damage Your Case
If your attorney is arguing that you are depressed or suffer from severe anxiety as a result of the incident that lead to the personal injury, a history of posts that show a lack of depression or anxiety can be used to argue that you were not emotionally affected in the way you claimed. For example, a post of you laughing and drinking may undermine your claim. This claim could be countered by the argument that you were simply playing along.
Even more problematic is when you have suffered an injury and are shown engaging in an activity that should be difficult or painful as a result of your injury. For instance, a picture of you dancing shouldn't be posted to social media. You could argue that you were simply feeling better that day, but it’s best to avoid providing the defense with this kind of evidence.
What Happens When You Make a Damaging Post
If you do make a post that may reduce your chances of winning your case, then make sure to bring this up to your personal injury attorney. Your post may require that a defense is crafted to support your case in light of your post.
The defense is not necessarily checking all of your social media. For instance, it may be difficult for the defense to check your social media on platforms where you are able to set your profile to private. However, someone who is able to see your posts may choose to share an image of yours on a platform that isn't private.
How to Remove Yourself From the Internet
To have a sense of what may be discovered, try typing your name into a search engine to find out what pops up. Your content may be on a website without you knowing it. If there are posts that may undermine your case, then try to have these posts removed. One solution is to delete all of your social media accounts. Not only will this remove posts, but it will also remove the temptation to post.
There are some websites that do not allow you to delete your account. You may be able to change your name to conceal your identity. Also, consider contacting the website owner to find out if they will manually delete your account. If you cannot delete your account, try to delete all posts that could damage your case.
To avoid making mistakes that could cause you to lose your case, consider contacting us at Richard D. Hoffman Law Offices. We will guide you through the process of seeking the compensation you deserve for a personal injury.