How Should You Approach Social Media While in the Midst of a Lawsuit?
Car Accident Lawyer
When you enter a lawsuit, no matter which side you are on, it’s critical that you exercise caution when using social media. Whether you regularly spend time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, your social networking habits could negatively impact the court’s impression of you. Consider a few key pieces of information that may help you navigate the world of social media wisely when engaging in a legal matter.
How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
Social media could put you in poor standing with the court in a couple of ways. First, if you are filing a suit over a personal injury, your posts could be used to suggest that you are not injured as badly as you claim. The defense attorney, for example, could take something as simple as a post about you eating dinner with your family and make it look like you are perfectly healthy. Even though you know you are injured, a judge may now be suspicious of your claims.
Second, your posts on social networking platforms could be manipulated to portray your character in a negative way. This could be particularly concerning in a divorce suit, as the way the judge views you could impact the amount of time you get with your kids.
Though it’s best to stay off social media altogether until your case is completed, some posts are riskier than others. Photos, for example, can be problematic. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is quite fitting in the courtroom because an opposing attorney can twist the contents of a photo in any number of ways. The people you are with, the beverages you consume, and how you are dressed could all give the court a bad impression of your character.
Further, it is never a good idea to post anything related to your case. Not only could this violate certain legal agreements, but an attorney could use these posts to suggest that you are taking the suit lightly or have been disrespectful to the other party.
Public vs. Private
Note that whatever you post on social media can easily be transferred to the courtroom. It can be helpful to set up strict privacy settings on your accounts, but this isn’t a foolproof strategy. In fact, judges can sometimes request to see private conversations, whether they take place over text or through a social media site.
If you are in the middle of a lawsuit or expect to enter one soon, be sure to consult a car accident lawyer, like the ones at Hickey & Turim S.C., or another legal professional to discuss what you should and shouldn’t say over social media. When in doubt, err on the side of caution!