In an increasingly connected world (and as technology plays a larger role in daily life), social media has become an extension of face-to-face interaction. While there are positive facets of keeping in touch with friends, family, and co-workers in this manner, there also exist many potential pitfalls when it comes to a legal case.
Social Media Content Is Accessible to Everyone
Because social media has become ingrained in daily life, many people will post information pertinent to their personal injury claim online. The trouble with this course of action centers around accessibility. Insurance companies and attorneys often scour sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to uncover what information an individual has shared relevant to their lawsuit. Depending on the tone and the extent of what was shared, this content could cause legal complications for litigants.
Even with heightened security measures in place (following data breaches and hacking concerns), content posted to social media accounts remains vulnerable to scrutiny and interpretation. This is true regardless of privacy/security settings.
Casual Conversation Can Be Condemning
The very nature of social media promotes a “stream of consciousness” approach to information sharing. That means individuals often write sentiments (and share photos) without giving the action much forethought. Unfortunately, such expression can often lead to contradictory statements. Even when done unintentionally, some content is enough to cast doubt on a personal injury claim and alter the potential outcome of a lawsuit.
In addition, location and “tagging” features prevalent in most social media platforms can place a litigant in certain places at specific times. This digital record could easily be used to demonstrate specific behavior or a pattern of action for an individual.
Posting Can Prolong Lawsuits
It’s important to realize that social media content is never truly deleted. Even if an individual removes such data from their account, this information remains accessible in an archived form to anyone who seeks it. This is often true even after an entire account has been disabled, even on platforms like Snapchat where the premise is that messages “disappear” after a short length of time.
The best way to avoid social media negatively affecting a lawsuit is to avoid posting any mention of the case. In situations where such content has already been published, qualified attorneys are available to offer valuable legal assistance and advocacy.
The boutique law firm of Ginnis & Krathen, P.A. serves the residents of South Florida (offices in Fort Lauderdale) with a variety of personal injury matters. That includes negligence, accidents, medical malpractice, and more. Contact us today to get started on your personal injury claim and to learn more about how social media affects your case.