“Should I avoid social media while involved in legal action?” The answer to this question is a resounding YES. Your best course of action whenever you’re involved in a lawsuit is to stay off social media until your case is settled or otherwise resolved. Why? Because it’s kind of like the Miranda warning you get when arrested: anything you say – or post – can be used against your case in a court of law. With that said, it isn’t always practical or healthy to avoid social media for an extended period of time – especially if it is a primary way in which you maintain your social relationships, seek support for your unique struggles, etc. Therefore, it is important that if you remain on social media while involved in a lawsuit that you approach your engagement of any platform with the utmost caution.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer can confirm, your hiatus or cautious engagement with social media hiatus should begin even before you file a lawsuit. For instance, if you’re involved in an accident, don’t immediately jump on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al, to tell your friends and family what happened, whether or not you’re hurt, or anything else. The unfortunate truth is that, regardless of your privacy settings, nothing you post online is really private. It’s all accessible on some level, and others involved in your case will likely discover any and all of your activity on various platforms as they build their case. Consequently, for example, any information you post, especially pictures, that show you as happy or active could be treated as an admission against interest regarding the injuries you sustained, their extent, and how they’re affecting you.
Use your cellphone to tell your family and friends what happened if you really feel compelled to share this information – but tell them verbally, not via text messages. Also, don’t tell them via private messaging. This, too, is not really private. Specifically ask your friends and family members NOT to post anything about you or your accident. Their social media accounts can be accessed just as easily as yours. You’d be surprised at all the ways in which the most innocuous or seemingly innocent comments can be twisted by a savvy insurance adjuster or opposing counsel into admissions against interest, etc.
Getting Legal Help
Assuming that you contact a personal injury lawyer after your accident – which is always a wise thing to do – ask them for additional advice concerning social media and how to go about navigating your life without using it. They likely will have several specific suggestions based on their prior experience in handling cases similar to yours.