Though it has been around for what has felt like forever, social media is still a fairly new concept. While the benefits to using social media, such as staying in contact with friends and family, are obvious, some of the consequences and how social media can spill into other people’s lives are fairly unknown. News outlets occasionally release stories regarding people who have lost their jobs or benefits due to social media activity, as well as lost cases.
The first and most important detail that should be noted is that most social media profiles are set to public. This means that all the information on a person’s social media profile can be accessed by anyone – including the prosecution. While private messages cannot be accessed directly, posts, photos, status updates, and more can all be accessed if the information is public.
Social media can affect a case in a variety of ways. Personal injury lawsuits for example, often fight for compensation due to a debilitating injury. The defense is often built on the idea that the injury has changed a person’s life and that they’re not longer able to do what they did before. So if, for example, a young man was to sue for compensation for a personal injury that occurred during a football game that rendered him unable to play, but posted photos of himself engaging in strenuous physical activity, such as playing football, this could make the argument that the case is not valid. Evidence pulled form his social media could cost him his case.
Like most things on social media, not everything is what it seems. The photo of the football player in the example above could have been an older photo without a timestamp. To avoid having a case compromised by social media, the following should be considered:
- Set all social media profiles to “private” to avoid prying eyes
- Do not discuss a case on social media at all
- Block tagged posts by friends and family
- Consider temporarily disabling all social media while a case is ongoing
Do not let social media ruin your chances of getting the help you need.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and is seeking a personal injury attorney, contact the law office of Salter Ferguson, LLC today by calling (205) 408-4357 or contact online.