Social media has changed the fabric of our lives in ways we never could have predicted even a decade ago. Millions live large portions of their professional and personal lives on their preferred social media platform. The constant shifting and trend chasing of social media discourse generates new social mores and subcultures every day. But it’s important to keep in mind that your conduct on social media can affect your “real” life. Today we’ll be discussing how social media can affect your personal injury case.
It’s important to understand that anything posted on social media can be saved and presented as evidence. When a criminal suspect is mirandized before their arrest, they are informed that “anything they say” can and will be used against them in court. Viewers of television police procedurals will no doubt be familiar with this phrase. However, in the modern era, authoring a social media post can also be considered speech. Moreover, social media platforms are public forums. Anyone can generally view the things we choose to post there. Therefore it’s important to be mindful of what you’re posting and how it may reflect on any legal proceedings in which you may be currently involved. It’s generally safest to avoid posting on social media at all while involved in active legal proceedings but users should take extra care to avoid:
It should be noted as well that posts of this nature made by friends or family members can also be used by the opposing council. It’s important to inform any friends or family members that are privy to the details of your case to exercise caution in posting about it on social media.
Many people choose not to put their name, image, or other personal information on their social media profiles. This perceived anonymity may provide an illusion of security. But even anonymous users should avoid posting about any legal proceedings with which they are involved. Opposing council may be able to request that the court compel you to share documents and posts. Even posting behind a screen name does not allow you to do so safely.
In order to minimize risks, it’s generally wise to familiarize yourself with the privacy settings of your preferred platform. Most popular social media sites allow you to limit who can see and interact with your posts. However, this does not mean you’ll be free to vent about your case. As previously discussed, these posts may be unsealed by a judge. Unscrupulous opposing council may even attempt to surveil your social media accounts by sending you friend requests from seemingly benign accounts.
When undergoing an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney, it’s generally wise to inform them of any social media presence you may have. Seek their guidance on what is advisable to post or refrain from posting during your case. They can provide specific advice tailored to your situation.
No matter what variety of personal injury case you find yourself facing; the attorneys at Malloy Law Offices are here to guide you through it. Our experienced and diverse team is home to the Beltway Region’s personal injury specialists. Our firm prides itself on a culture of individualized attention and empathy for the injured. Don’t let insurance companies or large corporations bully you into accepting less than you’re worth. Contact Malloy Law today.