For most people, it is difficult, if not impossible, to remember a time when social media was not an integral part of their lives. However, what started as a medium to stay in touch with family and friends has become much more. Today, we get our news from social media, find and apply for jobs, and meet our partners on social media.
Just as it has made our lives easier, it could also jeopardize our lives. For someone with a personal injury case, your use of social media can put your case at risk. If you have a personal injury case, you should contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Bethune Law Firm to get expert advice on what to do.
Social Media and Personal Injury Claims
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff usually seeks monetary compensation for injuries suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant’s lawyers and the insurance company must either accede to these requests or prove that the plaintiff’s claim is unfounded. This means that the defendant would look for any piece of evidence that discredits the plaintiff and their claim.
Before the use of social media, this process would have involved hiring a private investigator to dig up dirt on the plaintiff. However, with the ubiquity of social media and the tendency for users to post all about their life, this has become easier. While they may still have to hire a private investigator, scouring through your social media feed can often return faster and cheaper results.
What Would They Be Looking For?
What the defendant’s team would be looking for would depend on the claims you are making. If you have ever watched a movie scene where someone is arrested, you must have heard these words, “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” This is called the Miranda rights and is used to remind a suspect of their rights. Turning this around, we could say that anything you post can and will be used against you in a court of law.
The defendant’s team would be looking at posts before, during, or after your accident. The goal is to prove that you were either responsible for your accident or are exaggerating your injuries. For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident where you were injured. However, if your social media accounts show that you were at a party on the day of the accident, the defendant could say you were drunk. Similarly, claiming that your injury has stopped you from working but posting images of you doing things that look like work would hurt your case.
The goal behind going through your social media posts is to either discredit you, your evidence, or your claim. Therefore you need to be careful about what you post on social media during your personal injury claim. Preferably, you can stay away from social media for the duration of your case. However, where that is not possible, you may restrict what you post. If you doubt what may be appropriate, you can speak to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney would let you know what posts would harm your chances of winning a good settlement.
Can You Make Posts on Social Media During Your Personal Injury Claim?
If you decide to post on social media during your personal injury case, observe some rules. This ensures that you protect yourself and do not leave room for the defendant’s team to attack you.
The first thing to know is to trust your gut. While you may be apprehensive of posting during your personal injury case, do not do it if you have doubts about posting specific content. You have those doubts for a reason, so do not go ahead.
Reviewing your privacy settings is also an important step to take. Your privacy settings allow you to control who sees what you post. This way, you can restrict it to people you trust not to use what you post against you. In addition, do not accept connection requests from people you do not know. You can also take it a step further and not accept requests from anyone until your case is over.
Learn More About Social Media Use From Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers
We understand how difficult it could be for you to stay away from posting on social media. However, as we have pointed out, it may be the best option for you while you pursue your claim. Our legal team at Bethune Law Firm is always available to answer your questions on how social media affects a personal injury case. So, contact us today. We’re waiting to hear from you.