Posted on June 1st, 2011 in Atlanta | 1 Comment »
Anything you share online can and WILL be used against you in court! If you’ve recently become a plaintiff in a personal injury case you need to get educated on all the techniques lawyers could use on the web to prove why they don’t owe you money. You’re one post, share, tweet or like away from destroying your case… Here’s the post that your injury attorney hopes you read!
So, what steps can you take to protect your social media presence during a trial?
1) Suspend your Facebook and Twitter accounts – Although this is the easiest way to help prevent information for being used against you, some may not feel comfortable getting rid of their social media accounts completely…
2) Take care when posting status updates – Even something as little as a smiley face can be taken the wrong way and used against you.
3) Monitor comments – Be careful when commenting on friends’ statuses or photos – even a comment that sounds angry or irritable toward another person can be used as evidence.
4) Watch what friends post about you – Monitor what’s being posted on your wall to make sure nothing will contradict the claims you’re making or could be misinterpreted.
5) Double-check your preferences – Facebook’s default privacy settings allow people who live in your area or network to see your information, even if you’re not friends. Change this right away.
6) Shut down your blog.
7) Monitor photos – Keep a close eye on photos that you post or are tagged in. If you feel any of these could incriminate you, untag yourself or ask the person who posted it to delete it right away.
8 ) Consider your entire online presence – Although Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are the most targeted, don’t forget about the rest of your online presence. Are you on MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, or Flickr? These may all be other sources of information for lawyers.
9) Ask the question: “Who am I really sharing this information with? Could it be used as harmful evidence?” If your gut tells you yes, it’s probably a good idea to refrain from posting it.
10) Google yourself – After taking all of the above steps, you should also Google yourself to see what’s out there. Use a “web” search on your name as well as an “image” search, as the results could be different for each. If you discover anything that may could damage your case, tell your lawyer and then find the site it’s posted on and do your best to get it removed.
Even if you consider yourself a social media addict, using the above pointers to guide you during a trial can be a great help – and can increase the likelihood the case will go in your favor… For more advice, check out this accident injury blog.