Suppose you have suffered a burn injury and decide to pursue a claim against the party responsible for your injuries. While litigation is ongoing, your attorney is likely to inform you of the importance of keeping details related to the case just between the two of you. However, one thing that can cripple a case without you even knowing about it is your social media presence. When you are the plaintiff, the defendant and their legal team can be quite devoted to finding any and all evidence which can be used against you.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Case
There are a number of ways that your use of social media can affect your case, and almost none of them are positive. Many people don’t realize that in spite of whatever privacy measures you take with your online presence, your social media accounts may be seen by investigators, or worse, subpoenaed by the defense to use as evidence against you! When you are thinking of pursuing legal action, follow these tips:
- Consider Temporary Deactivation: While social media can be a great tool for staying in touch with family members, friends, and classmates, you may want to consider a temporary account deactivation. Many social media accounts allow you to preserve your account without it being active. An inactive account is much more difficult to pull up than a live account. The safest way to contain your social media presence is to not have one at all.
- Avoid Appearing In Photos: It may seem innocuous enough, but a defense team could point to photos of you posted by friends or family members as evidence that you did not suffer emotional harm, or to otherwise minimize your claim.
- Change Your Privacy Settings: If you cannot bring yourself to deactivate your social media account, you will most definitely want to consider restricting access to your profile as much as possible. The defense will likely scour the internet to see if you have anything online they can use against you. Changing your privacy settings can halt them in their tracks.
- “Tag” Or “Check-In” Anywhere: Many social media networks allow users to be “tagged” or “checked-in” at locations or events. The defense will use any of these locations or events to try to thwart your case. Avoid tagging yourself and also letting others tag you.
- Post About Your Recovery: It may be important to your family and friends on social media to know that you have recovered, however, they can be informed through phone calls or other means. Posting pictures of your recovery on social media can be detrimental to your case.
- Talk About The Case: This is a general rule of thumb that applies to every case. Don’t talk about it! Revealing information about your case, online or anywhere, can have unforeseen consequences that can ruin your chances at compensation. Only discuss the details of your case with your attorney or any parties directly involved with you.