You must know the consequences of social media when you are involved in a lawsuit. When you are involved in a lawsuit of any type, whether it is a personal injury case, divorce, or settling your parent’s estate, it is essential to understand the reality of our current social media driven world: your social media presence may have an adverse impact on your case.
In this day and age, social media platforms have transformed how people interact. Individuals use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and LinkedIn, to name a few, to connect with family, friends, and the world at large. Through the use of social media, anyone can obtain information about another individual in a matter of seconds. Just “Google” yourself and you will be surprised to find what pops up.
One of the drawbacks of social media is that once you post something, it stays forever, even when you think it is gone. You may delete a posting, but that does not mean that someone has not already taken a “screenshot” or the social media platform may keep internal record of deleted posts, pages and pictures.
In today’s legal world, defense attorneys, adverse parties and insurance adjusters, to name a few, will more than likely search your social media accounts. Information obtained from social media platforms can be used as defenses to undermine your legal issue. Know the consequences of social media use!
In order to adequately protect you and your legal case, it is this author’s recommendation to our clients to adhere to the following social media basics while involved in a lawsuit:
1. Temporarily Deactivate Your Social Media Accounts
2. Do Not Send Texts or E-Mails to Anyone About Your Legal Case, except to your attorney
3. Be Alert: If you receive a “Friend Request” and do not know the person, do not accept the friend request.
4. If you Choose to Maintain a Social Media Presence – Proceed with the Utmost Care:
– Do not post anything pertaining to your legal issue
– Do not post any personal information, including photos or videos
– Do not participate in blogs, message boards, or volunteer information to the like regarding your personal experience or legal issue
The upshot of this article – be aware of the consequences of social media use. If you are involved in a legal issue, what you post online, for better or for worse, is public information available to all. Should you have any questions or concerns about the consequences of social media platforms, we encourage you to contact your attorney for legal advice.