The advent of social media could be called a mixed blessing. We all enjoy the immediacy of communications, but many of us forget that every time we chat, tweet, or post an opinion or an image, once it’s up, our casual input will live on, eternally, on the internet. It can be very hard to resist the temptation to express our feelings of the moment, or to share the outrageous story that just happened to us. But, to quote U.S. News, “Computers are terrible at keeping secrets.”
You’re in the midst of your personal injury lawsuit. You’re experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions. New insights, new developments, new evidence, new arguments pop up from day to day. You ‘re anxious to keep your family and friends updated on the progress of your case. But strict confidentiality can be absolutely critical in personal injury cases. The harsh reality is that very time you go online and mention a detail of your case, you’re blowing up that confidentiality. What you have posted is available to anyone who wants to look for it, including the defendant’s insurance company and defense team. It’s best to remember the famous advice dating from World War II: “Loose lips sink ships.” In this case, the ship is your personal injury case.
Since a few years ago, posts on social media such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Instagram are being used as evidence in personal injury lawsuits. Remember those stories about fraudulent injury or disability claims that are undermined when an acquaintance posts a picture on Facebook of the plaintiff playing volleyball, or dancing, or lifting a heavy object? Your claim, honest and made in good faith, could be vulnerable because of something posted online that is identified with you.
Your best bet is to refrain completely from mentioning your lawsuit in any online communications. This can be a challenge these days, when everyone is used to spontaneous updates on electronic media. But you will be smart to:
- Enable the strictest privacy and security settings on your social media accounts.
- Don’t electronically update anyone, even interested parties, on the progress of your lawsuit. Meet for coffee, or pick up the phone instead.
- Don’t post your fun vacation pictures while you’re involved in an ongoing personal injury lawsuit or negotiation.
Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (336) 882-2000.