For many Americans, social media is a ubiquitous part of our lives. Pew Research Center found that nearly 75% of adults use social media networking websites or apps. While young adults aged 18-29 are the demographic most likely to use social media, Pew estimates that 46% of people aged 65 or older use social media, compared to just 2% in 2005.
From talking to friends to posting photos of our lunch, we use social media to both interact with others and chronicle events in our daily lives. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give us the opportunity to broadcast our thoughts and actions with a touch of a button. In this regard, social media can have a significant impact on your Tacoma personal injury case. Social media content or activity is generally seen as admissible evidence in the courts if it is relevant and authentic.
At Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, my colleagues and I instruct our clients to refrain from posting online about their case or injuries. If your social media activity gives any reason for an insurance company, opposing counsel, or judge to question the legitimacy of your claim, you run the risk of not receiving compensation for your injuries or losses. However, if the client has already posted information about the case, the ethical rules prohibit us from advising them to delete or edit the evidence. The courts view such actions as destroying evidence and it could potentially have a negative impact on your case.
I’m not suggesting you avoid social media altogether – just be cautious of what you choose to publish on the World Wide Web. Whether its status updates, Tweets, photos, blog posts, or even location check-ins, assume that everything shared on the Internet is public and can be used as evidence against you.
If you’re undergoing a personal injury case, be sure to tighten up the security and privacy settings on your social media profiles. It’s also important to make sure your settings require your approval for other users to post information or pictures on your account or in tagged photos. Lastly, if you have any concerns about your past or current social media activity, be sure to discuss it your Tacoma personal injury attorney.
My final takeaway? Think before you post. If you have any concerns about your past or current social media activity, be sure to discuss it with your Tacoma personal injury attorney. Don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation with Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel to give you guidance on your legal options.