Every day new apps are created to increase our communication and connectivity. With one tap you can talk to a friend on the other side of the world and live stream your conversation. Being in constant contact has created an online presence with no walls. You check in at the restaurant you go to on date night, upload a photo of your meal, and “go live” from the concert venue later in the night. Depending on your privacy settings complete strangers can follow your daily routine. We are a sharing society and become more transparent as technology develops. How could this oversharing impact your potential legal claim?
At the outset of any case, the opposing counsel begins their investigation by trolling through your social media accounts to see if there’s anything there that can be used against you. Even if you think you have strong privacy settings, these are only as strong as the weakest link in your friend list. This means that if you’re tagged by someone else who has weak privacy settings, then you are subject to their weaker settings. Before posting anything on any social platform, remember once you post content it no longer belongs to you. Closing your account does not erase the post. More and more courts are allowing discovery into social media accounts, regardless of whether the accounts are public or private. All communication and postings, whether via Facebook, text message, email, phone call log or fitness tracker updates, may be subject to discovery.
Please remember: Do not post any new information related in any way to your claim, injuries or to the case generally on any social media or internet site, even if that site is “private” or only shared with friends and family. Even if you are commenting/posting in a “members only” chat room or website, this can be used against your case. Any information that is currently posted or otherwise available on the internet should be preserved even if you change your privacy settings.
Limiting updates on social media during your case is the best way to avoid these potential pitfalls. Social media posts are a type of evidence you have the duty to preserve. View it as a public diary that can be admissible in court. Even the smallest actions can be construed as inconsistent with certain claims. When in doubt, check with your lawyer about what is and isn’t appropriate. To consult with an intake specialist about a potential claim, call for a free consultation today.