According to a recent briefing from the American Bar Association, more than 70 percent of people in the United States utilize social media in one format or another, and with apps for mobile phones, social media is more accessible than ever. However, when you’re involved in any type of litigation, it is recommended that you use social media wisely. Below, the personal injury attorneys at Edenfield, Cox, Bruce, Edenfield & Colson have provided a few tips to consider the next time you login to your account.
Consider Taking a Break
The temptation to create a new post and reply to your friends’ posts is hard to resist. However, taking a break from all social media activity is the best way to ensure that you don’t post anything that could be misinterpreted or detrimental to the outcome of your case. If you would like to take a break but worry you may not be able to resist the urge to interact with others on social media, it may help to delete the apps off of your mobile devices.
Modify Your Privacy Settings
If you’re unable to completely stop using social media, it is recommended that you review your privacy settings. For example, on Facebook, you can restrict your search visibility to only those who are in your list of friends. You can also control who can see photos that you’re tagged in and you can remove tags that have been applied by others.
Join Groups with Caution
Groups on social media are a great way of connecting with people who share your same interests, but if you’re involved in litigation, they can also provide evidence related to your lifestyle, hobbies, and frequent activities. For example, if you’re involved in a lawsuit related to a neck injury, it may not be wise to join the “Steel Roller Coaster Connoisseurs” group on Facebook.
Post Status Updates and Photos with Care
Although they seem completely innocent at the time of posting, status updates and photos can be requested during the discovery phase of litigation if opposing counsel feels that the content could be relevant evidence in your lawsuit. Using our prior example, if you are suing a negligent driver for a neck injury you suffered in a car accident, it would not be prudent to post a photo of you enjoying a ride on a roller coaster after the accident.
Avoid Deleting Posts
Often times, it is natural to post something online only to have second thoughts about it later. If you post a photo or status update and then think better of it, do not delete it. If it is discovered that you deliberately deleted evidence in order to avoid producing discovery-related documentation, you could be ordered to pay significant fees and expenses to the opposing party. If you have questions about something you posted, it is best to review this with your personal injury attorney.
Augusta Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been involved in an accident, a well-qualified personal injury attorney will provide you with sound counsel related to matters like social media use during litigation proceedings. The team at Edenfield, Cox, Bruce, Edenfield & Colson is here to answer any questions you have about your personal injury case. Call 1-888-314-4536 today to request a consultation.