Millions of Americans are using facebook, twitter, instragram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all the other social networking sites and that use is now affecting the outcomes of lawsuits all over the country. If you have asked some of the following questions READ ON: Can a court use pictures and posts on my account as evidence on my case? Can a lawyer find something I posted online? How do I keep my information private? Should I use facebook during my case? Can someone find a post that I previously deleted? Could my posts hurt the value of my case?
In one recent case, a woman in Georgia was awarded only about ten percent of the damages she was seeking because the defense used her social networking posts against her. The woman was the victim in an auto accident and suffered a concussion and other severe injuries, and was left with a scar on her forehead. She sued for damages, including pain and suffering due to the decrease in her quality of life. Her case was solid and it looked like she would receive a large award. Unfortunately, a social media post about her having “an epic weekend” and another that said “I’m starting to love my scar” were used to convince the jury that her quality of life wasn’t as bad as it was being made out to be. Another post with a picture of the woman using her injured hand raised doubts over her claims of being unable to work.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you are involved in a lawsuit, the best thing to do is to suspend your social network accounts. Even if you’re not posting anything currently, there may be things from your past that can be construed as negative by a skilled attorney. If you’ve checked all your past posts and decide to leave your account active, set your privacy settings to the most restrictive and be very careful about what you post. Even your information that is not publicly-viewable can be used in court. So can things your friends post.
Social networking can be a great thing, but be careful what you post when involved in a court case.