It’s no secret that what you post online is a digital permanent record that becomes public information. These days, people share just about every life event on a social networking site — or a few of them. However, social media is influencing not just how we communicate, but litigation as well. When it comes to lawsuits and social media, in many cases, you are your own worst enemy.
According to a Global News article, it has become more common for defence lawyers to use social media to dispute personal injury and workplace lawsuits.
However, technological innovation outpaced the law, and there has been a lack of guidance on the use of social media content in civil litigation. Courts are still trying to figure out how that information should be used in a ruling.
Out of Context Posts
If something that an individual puts on social media can be used to argue that their injury is not actually affecting them in the way they are claiming, even if it’s taken out of context, it is a safe bet that the defense will use it.
Photos and video are the more commonly used types of social media content that defence use in a case because they are more difficult to dispute.
“This is where the distortion of the reality is very worrisome,” said Maia Bent, president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, to Global News.
This is because we want to share the best version of ourselves online.
A simple example is if someone were going to take your picture in a social situation, you would most likely smile to appear you’re having a fun time in order to maintain a good image yourself for others to see.
Examples of the types of posts that may affect a personal injury claim include the following:
- Photos or videos showing you engaged in physical activity, such as doing yard work, working out, or going out dancing, which can be used to disprove the injuries you claim to have suffered.
- Posts unintentionally admitting liability, or casting doubt as to whether you were partially to blame for your accident.
- Internet tracking apps, which can be used to discredit your version of the circumstances leading up to your accident and the actual time your accident occurred.
Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
The simplest way to avoid having this type of situation destroy a personal injury case is to avoid any temptation to post on social media during the span of the case.
Even high privacy settings on your social accounts can’t protect you when it comes to a court order accessing your entire social media profile.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your friends and family aren’t posting or tagging you in posts that could damage your case. If there are people who want to know how you are doing then it’s best to speak to them on the phone or in person rather than over Facebook messenger.
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, our lawyers at Harris Law have the experience to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free, one-hour consultation.