Social media is the preferred medium for many to keep up with family and friends or make new friends. It also enables users to share important events as well as everyday details of their lives. What we sometimes forget, however, is that what we post online is not private. So those Facebook posts, Tweets or other social media activity can be tracked by others who do not have the user’s best interests at heart.
Admissible in court
Clients involved in a personal injury case or even a divorce need to be careful about what they post because it is admissible in court. Attorneys on the other side will scour social media looking for evidence that contradicts the plaintiff or client’s claims in court. Examples of mistakes include:
- A post that shows a claimant recovering from a severe car crash performing athletic activities like running a race or waterskiing.
- A post of a husband who claims to have no money finds him on a luxury trip or posing with an expensive new car.
It is best to avoid social media
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to making legal claims in civil court. However, posting information online can lead to misinterpretation that needlessly complicate a case. Instead, its best to be sensible by:
- Limiting online posts or avoiding them altogether until the case is closed
- Not discussing details of a case
- Not providing personal photos or information online while the case is ongoing
Not a place to vent
Legal disputes can be stressful, whether litigated in court or mediated with the help of an attorney. Nevertheless, it is also best to avoid venting online. While it may feel good, it can negatively impact the outcome of a case if the other side’s attorney sees it.
Err on the side of caution
Erring on the side of caution may be frustrating, but it is in the client’s best interests to do so. Those with questions about their case, or their use of social media while involved in a case, should discuss it with their attorney. These legal professionals can tailor advice to meet the specific needs of the client.