In recent years, posting personal details of your life on various social media websites for hundreds of your friends, family, and acquaintances to see has become the “norm.” While social media is a great way to stay connected to others, it can be a potentially harmful in some situations. One scenario in which you want to largely avoid posting on social media is during a personal injury case.
Courts May Allow Social Media Posts And Photos As Evidence
If your personal injury case does not settle and you have to file a lawsuit, the opposing party and his or her attorney will likely be searching for ways to avoid liability or limit the damages they are responsible for by showing any of the following:
- He or she did not negligently cause the accident;
- Your injuries are not as serious as you say they are; and/or
- Your injuries did not occur in the accident in question.
With so much information online, you can bet that the opposing party and his or her attorney will be checking your Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter feed, and any other social media profiles that you may have. If they see photos or status updates that can discount your claims, courts will often allow that information to be used against you. In fact, you may even be ordered not to delete any information from your profile so that it is preserved for trial purposes.
Social Media Posts to Avoid
While it is wise to refrain from posting entirely, posting the following status updates or photos should generally be avoided:
- News about your medical diagnosis or treatment;
- Bad-mouthing the other party, his or her insurance company, or his or her attorney;
- Relaying conversations with your own attorney;
- Posting any other communications or information about your case; and
- Posting photographs of you exercising, hiking, playing sports, or even on vacation.
In addition, even regular check-ins at events, parties, or restaurants can call into question the degree an injury is affecting your life. If you claim that you have suffered emotional distress and severe limitations due to your injury, the opposing party may use any social activity to demonstrate that you have not significantly lost enjoyment of life.
Contact an Appleton Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
Injured individuals may not realize how a seemingly harmless Facebook status update or photo could seriously jeopardize their chances at recovery in their personal injury case. This is only one of several reasons why it is important to have the guidance of an experienced Green Bay personal injury attorney. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our attorneys will advise you on what not to do during your case—especially regarding social media—so that you have the best chance of recovery. Please call at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Appleton, Green Bay, or Oshkosh today.