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Nowadays we live in a world of transparency. Whenever we experience something new – whether it’s a job offer, new family member, or adopting a pet – our first instinct is to share it with our social media networks. If you sustained injury in an accident and are in the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, you might be feeling isolated, in pain, or alone. It might be tempting to talk to your social media networks for support, as it’s nice to know there’s always someone listening. On the other hand, it can be dangerous to share information about your case online. Saying the wrong thing can actually hurt your claim and cause issues down the line. Here’s what you need to know.
If you’ve ever seen a police show on TV, you’ve probably heard the line “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Criminal trials and civil trials are different for a number of reasons, but this guiding principle is the same. When you post about your lawsuit on social media, you’re offering public information about a case – information that the defendant’s attorney can and will use against you.
When you file an injury claim, you’re making an allegation that you experienced harm as the result of someone else’s negligence. A defense attorney’s job is to provide evidence that your life is not as negatively affected by the accident as you claim, and its unfortunately easy to post something on social media that undermines the extent of your injuries. This particularly applies to the “pain and suffering” or “emotional distress” aspect of your personal injury claim. In the defense’s eyes, if you’re posting pictures of an outing with friends, how distressed can you be?
You also want to avoid posting negative things about the party you’re filing a claim against. While it’s natural to feel angry at the other party following an accident, avoid communicating about it online.
Social media can have a serious negative effect on your claim. To avoid these effects, consider the following instead:
Social media can provide tangible benefits when it comes to connecting to family and old friends. Unfortunately, it can also wreak havoc on your case. If you have a lawsuit pending, it’s best to remain off social media. If you continue to engage with friends on your networks, do so with the tips listed above. For more guidance, talk to your attorney.