This is a topic that we have written about before, but it is very important and something that many St. Petersburg residents are still confused about. In order to participate in the activity of social media, a person foregoes a degree of privacy, and that is a fact that should never be overlooked, especially by those who are preparing to enter into a personal injury law case.
If you have made pieces of your life public knowledge by making certain claims or sharing certain photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or one of the many other social networks, then you can expect that the opposition in the case is going to look at that. There is much to be learned about a person and his or her character by visiting a social media feed. Do keep this in mind as you prepare to take the stand.
Consider Social Media Downtime. Most personal injury attorneys will strongly recommend that you take down all social media accounts during the time that the trial is taking place. This prevents any of your posts being used against you in the courtroom. When the final decision is made, then you can return to your normal social networking routine.
Check Privacy Settings. In most cases, the personal injury attorney will not be able to gain access to your personal account, which means that, as long as your information is not publicly shared, you are decently shielded. However, many people have posted information publicly without realizing it. Use an incognito window, or use another computer to see what the public can see of your accounts.
Stop the Chatter. Whatever you do, do not post comments or photos pertaining to the personal injury case. If you are suffering from a long term disability and you have posted pictures of yourself waterskiing (which could have been taken months prior to any injury), the court is likely to be highly skeptical about the actual injuries suffered. You have to be aware of how your online activity could be perceived by those perusing social media networks. So, it’s best to stop sharing until you have received a judgment in the case.
Be Aware of Your Language. Even if there is nothing on the social media feed pertaining to the case, and there is no reason for anyone to suspect that you misleading them about the damages suffered, you should take a close look at how your language and imagery could impact your reputation. Remember, nearly everyone is using the internet these days. It is easy for anyone to access publicly shared information. If you are regularly posting pictures of yourself drinking and partying, if you are constantly posting foul language or slanderous comments, if you are acting in a way that would be considered inappropriate by the majority of the populace, there could be trouble. Judges and juries rely a great deal on first impressions when making decisions, so it is important to be seen as an upstanding Saint Petersburg citizen, who just happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Social media is a topic that you should discuss with your personal injury attorney before filing a lawsuit. He or she may even want to take a look at what is posted to determine the best approach to reducing any possible risk of harming the case.