Everyone has a social media account nowadays. Whether that account is on Facebook, Twitter or some other platform, it is a lifeline to the world at large. Almost no one can maintain a social life without posting a tweet or Tik Tok. But, what if we told you that random post could actually hurt you?
At the Law Offices of Esteban L. Valenzuela & Associates, we handle personal injury cases from across the Santa Maria area. As such, we are seeing more and more cases where social media evidence comes into play. This means posting about your latest bar hop could wind up destroying your personal injury lawsuit. Here are some things you need to consider if you plan to make a post while your case is in court.
What Can I Post on Social Media?
This can be a tough question. Opposing attorneys or insurance companies could use any number of posts against you. For example, you went to a cousin’s birthday party after sustaining a back injury. You spend most of the party resting but take one pic with your cousin and post it on Facebook. An insurance company could use that picture to say you went out to a party and so your injury must not be as bad as you claim.
Due to situations like this, you will want to avoid posting on social media while your case is ongoing.
Should I Leave Social Media?
Leaving social media may be a good strategy if you are afraid you will post something that may hurt your case. Just remember, ending your account will not completely erase your online footprint. Should the court want to look at something from your old account, it can subpoena that information from you or the social platform. The record of your post will still exist somewhere. Furthermore, just because you delete your account does not mean that your friends have deleted theirs. Showing up in a friend’s photo of a party or event they went to can hurt your case just as much.
So, leaving social media can be a good idea, but do not let your guard down just because you quit Snapchat, Facebook or other social media sites.
Will Changing My Privacy Setting Help?
It may be tempting to stay on social media by increasing your privacy settings. This is a good layer of protection when it comes to staying online while your personal injury case is ongoing. However, it is key to remember that “where there is a will, there is a way.”
As mentioned before, if you show up on a friend’s post, attorneys can use that post against you. You can turn off tagging to make it harder for that sort of thing to happen, but there are no guarantees.
Consult With an Experienced Attorney About Your Social Media Habits
Under most circumstances, an attorney will tell you to take a break from social media if you have an active personal injury case. It is sound advice considering how many ways a post can hurt your claim. One post could cost you compensation for your injury, or it could even lead to sanctions or fines.
To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit, give us a call at (805) 922-6674. You can also visit our contact page to fill out a form. Someone from our office will be in contact as soon as possible.