Don’t Let Facebook Ruin Your Case in Court

In today’s world of social media and instant internet access, many of us are in the habit of posting seemingly innocent messages & pictures on Facebook or Twitter about our day, our thoughts, and life in general. Think again if you are involved in a court case or even have made a claim with an insurance company. What may seem innocent can be taken out of context and used to anger or confuse your opponent, making them less likely to enter into negotiations with you. Privacy settings can only go so far, and how really “deleted” are things that you delete? Not to mention friends who tag you in pictures and post on your wall. Information on social media, including past history, can be subject to court subpoena. Granted, this is more likely to happen in a murder trial than in a personal injury or bankruptcy case, but you never know what will surface and how it will be taken. For example, if you are involved in an personal injury case and you just had back surgery, a picture of you taken at a friend's pool party could be taken out of context, even if you were sitting on a lounge chair in pain the whole time.  In some of the more serious injury cases, insurance companies have been known to hire investigators, especially if there is any element of your claim that seems suspicious. A well meaning “friend” on social media could inadvertently bring about an extra element that you didn’t count on, even if you are able to explain it away later. Bottom line- if you choose to use social media while involved in a court case or litigation, be sure to monitor your account often and, as in life, know who your friends are.

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