Potential Impact of Social Media on your Lawsuit
Suffering an injury particularly due to another person or entity’s negligence or recklessness can be very frightening and unnerving. The specter of mounting medical bills and lost wages can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety.
Obviously, support from family and friends both near and far can be very helpful during this potentially long and arduous process. It is only natural in this day and age to take to social media to discuss what occurs in our lives in both public and private forums. However, if you have suffered an injury and are pursuing a lawsuit, there are several things to consider before you either post publicly or even private message on social media sites. It is important to know that posts on social media sites are routinely entered as evidence in third party and personal injury cases. Typically, that evidence does more harm than good.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to shut down your Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms. However, it is very important that you consult with your lawyer and get his or her advice as to what would be permissible to post. Generally, your lawyer will likely advise you not to post anything at all about your case, particularly not to post anything about the specifics regarding your injury, medical conditions, or diagnoses. Also, it is advisable that you do not refer to any specific conversations that you have with your lawyer or any communications or negotiations that are ongoing with the insurance carrier in your case.
It is important that you be mindful of who can see your posts. It is also advisable that you avoid accepting any friend requests and block any followers that are not familiar to you. It is important to keep in mind that anything and everything that you share or post on a social media platform can be used against you potentially in your case no matter how seemingly innocent it may be.
For example, in the case of Foreman v. Henkin, a New York Court of Appeals case the plaintiff indicated that her injuries made it difficult for her to both read and write due to the defendant’s negligence in fitting her horse with a defective stirrup. The Court of Appeals ruled plaintiffs may be required to disclose posts, photos, and other information that are relevant to litigation, even those protected by privacy settings.
Again, it is always important to remember that when posting on social media platforms such as Facebook, even something that would otherwise be protected as “private” may be used against you in your case.
If you have any questions about how your social media accounts may affect the status of your case, contact Segar & Sciortino at (585) 475-1100 for a free consultation. Segar & Sciortino has served Western New York for 25 years in the areas of Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability and Personal Injury(Accident) Law. Local experience you can trust to get the benefits you deserve.