It's a trend in this age of technology to post the latest details of almost every aspect of your life. You probably share photos, observations, experiences and opinions. However, as far as your personal injury lawsuit is concerned, you need to be extremely careful about any bit of information you post on your social media account. Once you've secured legal representation, your personal injury lawyer will take you through a number of social media ground rules. Read on for more insight.
How social media can impact negatively on your case
Often, injured parties ask what difference it would make if they post several smiley faces or holiday photos. Well, the events leading to the incident or accident won't change. However, what is typically at stake is evidence of injuries sustained. This could directly and greatly impact the sum of injury settlement. A clear example would be an individual who claims a severe injury leading to limited use of their leg who then posts photos of themselves playing football or rock climbing. The impression on the jurors in this case is that the claimant cannot be trusted. Their credibility is questioned.
Apart from plaintiffs exaggerating the severity of their damages, the greater problem lies in how a jury or judge perceives the pain and suffering as well as psychological anguish suffered by the plaintiff. Contrary to lost wages and medical bills, the existence and degree of losses for pain and anguish is more subjective. Therefore, when you post smiley photos on your social media account during the litigation process, the defense attorney may use the photos to argue that you have not actually suffered serious harm as alleged. Such proof may be twisted to make the plaintiff look as untrustworthy as possible. This in spite of the fact that people generally post happy photos of themselves on social media to make them appear socially desirable notwithstanding the fact that they may be sad and suffering. Though these assertions and photos don't explain the whole story, jurors give it more weight as it is considered straight from the horse's mouth.
Things to avoid
The specifics of your social networking limitations will be discussed with your personal injury attorney based on your particular injury case. In general, however, you should desist from posting any details on conversations you had with your lawyer, your medical findings or treatment, expressions of anger with the case or with the defendant's insurer or details on any emails, phone calls or other communication you've had with anybody in the case. Additionally, don't allow your pals to tag you in check-ins or photos either.