In the new digital age, it’s important to understand that social media does not only impact your personal life, but it can have ramifications on your legal case as well. While platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow users to share opinions and experiences with the world, they may also inadvertently capture something that negatively impacts the user later. Our personal injury lawyers in Wichita, Kansas, at the Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC Law Firm, have decades of experience pursuing clients’ personal injury claims and advise all individuals to exercise extreme caution when posting on social media for the duration of their case. At the PHP Law Firm, we have written and lectured attorneys on the subject of social media and how it can impact your case. We know what you need to do and not do to protect your case from the harmful effects of social media. Learn more about how social media can affect the outcome of your personal injury case below!
How Social Media Can Impact Your Personal Injury Claim | Personal Injury Lawyers, Wichita, KS
Understanding Public Record
Statistically, 72 percent of the adult population uses social media. Of those, seven out of 10 claim to be active on Facebook daily, with 49 percent reportedly using Facebook multiple times a day. When posting on social media, keep in mind that the information you share is public, meaning that you should not expect privacy when posting. Not only can all of your friends and followers view this information, but so can defense attorneys and insurance adjusters. Whether you have your profile set to public or private, an opposing lawyer may request that you produce printouts of your social media activity in the discovery process, and defendants have the right to seek as much information as they want, including information not considered public record. If you attempt to delete your profile entirely after posting incriminating evidence, this can cause suspicion and may persuade a court to deem it “spoliation of evidence.” Be aware that even though you deleted it, it can still be retrieved. No matter how private you think your social media accounts are, remember, there is still a chance that other unwanted visitors may see your posts!
How Your Posts Can Hurt You
While you may believe that your social media posts will not affect your pending personal injury case, many of the connections that personal injury lawyers can make between your posts and your case are endless. Even posting something that you think may benefit the outcome of your case can oftentimes have an adverse effect and create a harmful response. Some of the most common examples of how social media can negatively impact your case include:
- Posting photos capturing “risky” behavioral tendencies such as consuming drugs or alcohol.
- An accident victim claiming loss of enjoyment of life but posting pictures that allude otherwise.
- A victim pursuing lost wages while showcasing home improvement projects or promoting online work-from-home websites.
- An individual whose settlement agreement includes a confidentiality provision breaching the contract and announcing the settlement on social media.
How To Properly Approach Social Media
If you have recently been injured in an accident and are pursuing a personal injury claim, our personal injury lawyers in Wichita at the PHP Law Firm recommend implementing the following safety measures to ensure you don’t jeopardize or negatively impact the outcome of your case:
- Avoid posting on all social media platforms.
- Set your accounts to the highest privacy setting.
- Do not create any new social media accounts.
- Do not accept any new friend requests or followers.
- Alert your personal injury lawyer of any social media accounts.
- Do not delete your current accounts, as it may cause suspicion and further questioning.
How the PHP Law Firm Can Help
When you contact the PHP Law Firm personal injury lawyers in Wichita, we know the law on social media and how it can harm your case. You will receive counseling on the do’s and don’ts of social media to protect your case from the harm posting may cause. It could make the difference between a large recovery of damages or no recovery at all. If our team feels that you are the victim of another party’s carelessness or negligence and you would like to proceed with legal action, we have you covered, and you will not be charged any fees unless we win compensation for you.
Contact us directly at (316) 683-9080 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!