It seems the entire world is connected to social media. We share, and overshare, our lives interacting with friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform. Unfortunately, our propensity to publicly journal our lives can have a decidedly negative impact upon all parties to a lawsuit and this includes medical malpractice litigation. Following are three guidelines to help keep anyone involved in injury litigation to from sabotaging their case by social media.
Use Privacy Settings
The first rule of social media is to take advantage of privacy settings, but don’t assume they fully protect you. In litigation, attorneys routinely subpoena social media records that can give them access to all of a plaintiff’s posts. Restricting access with privacy settings will make things harder and more time-consuming, but a determined lawyer will still likely gain access. The key here is to make it more challenging and force them to determine whether it is worth their time and energy to engage valuable resources and limited discovery requests on social media research. Attorneys at law firms like Shay & Associates can answer any questions about recommended social media settings for their clients.
Do Not Vent About the Case
Aggrieved parties want and deserve justice, but are wise to refrain from venting online. Engaging experienced and qualified medical malpractice attorneys means allowing them to be the mouthpiece and trusting in their advocacy. Disparaging the parties, judges, or attorneys involved in a case can harm the perception of the plaintiff and make it easier for a skilled defense lawyer to twist the words into the perception of a simple case of sour grapes from someone with an axe to grind.
Do Not Post Anything Relevant to Injuries Sustained
People often exaggerate their quality of life on social media by posting the most flattering images and vacation photos possible. If one claims to be suffering mentally and physically, but is posting photos and statements inconsistent with that message, it will surely come up in court. Even something as simple as a comment about working in the yard can disrupt a claim for injuries. If one must use social media, the best policy is to completely abstain from sharing any information related to physical activity.
The best policy for social media use while pursuing a claim is to simply take a break, but in the alternative, following these three rules will make the process much smoother for claimants and their lawyers.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.