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Cochran Firm Blog, Philadelphia

Reasons You Should Avoid Social Media Throughout Your Lawsuit

man using social media on his phone

According to the USFEF, there are over 40 million lawsuits filed each year in the United States. Lawsuits have clearly been booming in recent years, and that is exactly why it’s more important than ever to brush up on your legal know-how. Today we’re going to go over some important do’s and don’ts of social media during a lawsuit.

Legal cases can be a very stressful time for anyone. You might even be tempted to vent on social media or message your friends. Keep in mind, however, that these posts could later be used against you.

It’s always best to avoid posting or using social media while you’re involved with a lawsuit. Here are some reasons why this is a good rule to follow.

Adjusters Can Use Your Social Media Posts Against You

insurance adjuster

It’s probably no surprise that insurance adjusters can see all of the pictures and posts on your social media. What most people don’t realize, however, is that these posts can actually be used as evidence against your insurance claim and could even be submitted to the court as evidence. 

So keep in mind that although you might want to reassure your family that you’re doing ok, it might not be a good idea. 

Think about a post that says, “I’m alright everyone!” Although seemingly harmless, your insurance adjuster might see the same post as “I’m alright, so you don’t have to pay out for damages”. That’s why it’s always best to avoid posting personal or any other information on social media during an ongoing lawsuit.

Even photos of events or nights out with friends could be used against you. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on privacy settings and posts that you’re tagged in since those could be up for grabs as well. Your friends posted a photo of everyone dancing on a night out? That could be misconstrued as proof of health.

It’s An Unnecessary Provocation

You might’ve heard advice from divorce lawyers recommending no contact with your ex-spouse outside of legal meetings. This advice could certainly be applied to almost any kind of lawsuit, however. If your opposition reaches out over social media, goading you, anything you say can be used against you later on. 

Did someone provoke you into saying something that could be misconstrued as threatening? Big no-no. It’s best to stay away from any platforms where people might reach out. Remember, these days bits of our digital conversations are never truly deleted. Also keep in mind that this is a time for you to take care of yourself, so don’t let other people get to you.

Private Messaging Isn’t Really Private

messages on phone

We know that sending a 2 am text to your significant other or best friend might seem completely private. Please be aware, however, that there is no guarantee whatsoever that these messages will remain private. In fact, recent communications are often requested during lawsuits. Whether you’re in the middle of a custody battle, or you’re suing your previous employer, it’s best to avoid sending incriminating private messages. Even seemingly harmless PMs can be brought up in a completely different light in court. 

For example, say you’re in the middle of a ferocious custody battle with your ex. A message to your best friends about how hard it is to raise a kid alone on your salary might seem perfectly appropriate to you at the time. However, if the messages were requested in court, these same texts could quickly be turned against you. Maybe your opposition sees a new angle – that you can’t afford raising your child. This could create the perfect excuse for your ex-spouse to claim that they should get sole custody. Keep things like this in mind during your lawsuit.

Unless your communications are between you and your lawyer or your doctor, private messages are likely to not be protected by privacy laws in the US. 

Last Notes and Tips

  • Don’t dawdle. Although it can be tempting to drag your feet and put things off, you shouldn’t do so when it comes to legal issues. Whether you’re suing someone else, or worried about being sued, the problem is not likely to go away on its own. While you’re considering next steps, your opposition might already be lawyering up, and you don’t want to be left in an awkward position. That’s why it’s always best to seek out legal counsel as soon as possible. Keep in mind that it’s usually a lot easier to deal with legal issues by tackling them earlier on rather than when the problem has escalated.

  • Do not delete evidence from your social media during your lawsuit. Although your first instinct may be to raid your social accounts for anything that can be used against you, try to avoid the temptation. If in doubt, ask your lawyer or legal counsel regarding what can be deleted. Understanding the social media effect on personal injury claims is crucial in these situations. In some cases, embarrassing photos can be taken down for more public cases. Use extreme caution when doing so however, and get advice from your lawyer beforehand. In some cases (depending on your state’s laws), old content can be taken down as long as it’s preserved in the correct way. Note that incorrectly deleting incriminating content from your social media accounts can be considered an attempt to destroy/delete evidence.

  • Are your family or friends posting about you? As we mentioned earlier, even photos that you were tagged in could be used against you in court. Always consult your lawyer because they may recommend letting your family know not to tag you or post photos of you during your case.

Why Hire A Lawyer?

Legal representation is the best way to ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. Hospital fees can add up quickly, and you don’t want to be left holding the bag for your employer’s negligence. Moreover, your opponent is likely to have legal representation already, and you want to make sure that you’ve got someone to back your case up as well when going in to ask for your settlement.

A good lawyer can talk you through your options and possible next steps regarding your case. They can also help you collect any relevant information/documents that you’ll need for the case and give you valuable advice.

Moreover, a lawyer has the education and experience to understand how to proceed with paperwork and filings related to the case. Trying to wade through legal jargon yourself is likely to lead to mistakes and delay your case. That’s why it’s best to hire an expert.

Our lawyers can handle a variety of cases, including:

  • Auto accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Consumer fraud
  • Elder abuse
  • Personal Injury
  • Police misconduct
  • Premise liability
  • Product liability

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please feel free to give us a call at 800-969-4400. Else, contact us via our convenient online form here.

Contact Us Today

Are you looking for legal counsel? The Cochran Firm Philadelphia office is happy to handle your civil litigation or criminal defense claims case. Proud to have served the people of Philadelphia for over 40 years, our law firm welcomes you with open arms.

Here at Cochran, we offer not only a team of qualified and experienced lawyers, but a team that truly cares. We understand how stressful lawsuits can be, and therefore do everything we can to make the process as smooth and worry-free as possible for our clients. You shouldn’t suffer personal injury cases  on your own – reach out to us now for a consultation with one of our lawyers.

Although every case is different, we can do a full consultation in order to evaluate your case and recommend a course of action.The fantastic news is that our consultations are free of charge, and there are no up-front lawyer fees. Our payment comes out of the final settlement and only if we win the case itself. Call or go online today to schedule your own consultation.