An estimated 320 million people use social media in the U.S. That’s approximately 95% of the country’s population. Posting pictures, sharing funny anecdotes, and opening up about their personal lives to the world has become a normal part of everyday life for most people. However, when you are in the midst of a personal injury case, sharing too much information online can have a negative effect on the outcome of your case.

Understanding the dos and don’ts of using social media in a personal injury case is crucial to ensure there are no detrimental consequences of posting online.

What You Should Do

Most people can continue to use social media as long as they take a few extra steps to protect their privacy.

Adjust Privacy Settings

If your social media profiles are set to public, now would be a good time to reconsider that setting. Adjusting your accounts to limit access is a good idea while you are negotiating or litigating a personal injury claim in Georgia. When only your closest friends and relatives can view your content, there is less of a chance of something you post coming back to hurt you later.

Be Careful What Photos You Post

In an effort to deny your claim or limit your compensation, insurance companies and opposing parties may search your social media for evidence that disproves or weakens your injury claim. Photos are especially risky in this way because images of you doing certain activities could suggest your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Ensure your pictures cannot be misinterpreted before you share them online.

What To Avoid in the Meantime

While you are likely not expected to remove yourself from social media altogether, certain behaviors should be limited or avoided while your case is still ongoing.

Don’t Post Details of Your Case

Sharing details about your personal injury case could be detrimental, so do not post any information about the following aspects of your case:

  • Your injuries or their severity
  • Details of litigation or legal proceedings
  • Settlement offer amounts
  • Information about the accident itself

In Georgia, what you say online can be used against you, so avoid talking or posting about your personal injury case. Additionally, your medical treatment or conditions should not be discussed on social media, specifically:

  • Your diagnoses
  • Treatment plans or prognoses
  • Appointment times
  • Your healthcare providers or medical facilities
  • Mobility aids or other medical devices
  • Test results
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • Your symptoms, whether worsening, improving, or staying the same

There could be other types of posts and content that may be harmful to your personal injury case, so be sure to discuss the specifics with your attorney. They will have the best insight into what the dos and don’ts of social media are for your personal injury case.

Social Media in the Courtroom

There are rules of evidence in any court case, and social media posts must adhere to these rules, as well. Georgia’s admissibility requirements for online evidence are that it must be relevant and authentic.

Relevant evidence will likely make a fact of the case more or less probable than it would be without the evidence. Does the social media post directly correlate with the facts of your personal injury case? For example, suppose the opposing party is claiming that you were partially at fault for the car accident because you were racing another car at the time of the crash. In this scenario, social media posts showing you street racing would be relevant.

In Georgia, authentic evidence means that the evidence is what you claim it to be. This is a vague description, which means that authenticating evidence is often complicated.

Your personal injury attorney should be able to build a solid argument for why a piece of evidence should or should not be admitted based on its relevance and authenticity.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Atlanta, GA

What you do outside the courtroom can impact your personal injury case, so contact Flanagan Law if you have questions about your social media use. Our personal injury attorneys are available to address concerns over posting online and how to navigate social media in the courtroom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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