Most people use their social media accounts without thinking. Whether you post a progress photo at the gym or just tag a friend that you haven’t seen in a while, social media is a natural extension of your life. But during a lawsuit, you need to be very careful about your public image.
You could make some notable mistakes on social media that could potentially harm your case, even if they seem to be harmless at the time. Here’s how to avoid the most common issues.
Don’t: Discuss Your Case With the Other Party on Social Media
Many people are inclined to work things out through social media before even contacting a lawyer. You might ask them to reimburse you for your damages through Facebook, or contact them directly through Twitter DM. This could injure your case. If you ask for $10,000 on Twitter before you get your actual bills, asking for $25,000 after the bill arrives may seem excessive.
Do: Tell Your Lawyer About Any Communications You’ve Had
Once you’ve started a lawsuit, don’t discuss it at all with the other party. If you have discussed it in the past, let your lawyer know and print everything out. Your lawyer will understand, but they need to know so they aren’t blindsided.
Don’t: Post About the Case on Social Media
Don’t assume that because your social media is private you can post about your case. For one, you gain nothing when you post about the case. Let your lawyer do their work. Anything posted online can get out to the general public, and it may be posted without the necessary context.
Do: Ask Your Family and Friends to Avoid Posting
Sometimes your posts aren’t the problem but rather the posts of your family and friends. Make sure that the people close to you don’t post anything about your case either because their posts could be seen by friends of friends or those who are involved with the case.
Don’t: Post Pictures of Physical Activities
If you post a picture of you on a hike, the picture may cast doubt on a knee injury. That’s true even if that picture of you hiking was ten years ago and you’re just posting it as a memory. You’re best not to provide this type of harmful evidence to the other side, even if you’re trying to celebrate something that you’ve accomplished as a part of your recovery.
Do: Timestamp Any Photos You Do Post
If you decide to post photos that you’ve taken in the past such as photos of vacation or of you at the gym, make sure you timestamp them and make it expressly clear that it’s an image of you in the past. These types of posts can show a sharp contrast to your current condition. Especially, if you have an overuse injury. Remember: information that is shared can easily be shared without context.
Don’t: Check In at Physical Locations
A check-in in at the gym could give people the impression that you’re physically capable, even if you were there to work on your physical therapy. Checking in at a medical center once, six months ago, could give people the assumption you didn’t go back. Avoid sharing your activities in general, not just the ones that are strictly physical.
Do: Turn off Location Sharing
Many social media accounts today have something called “location sharing,” which can tell people where you are. Sometimes your posts could be tagged with your location even though you haven’t expressly tagged it. Turn off location sharing to prevent this.
Ideally, you would want to just close down your social media. But understandably, a lot of people need it to track events, friends, and family. Using social media less and refraining from posting to your feed can prevent you from making many of the major mistakes. Don’t forget that your comments are also visible.
As you can see, you have the potential to make a lot of mistakes out there. You need professional counsel. Contact the experts at Galligan Law today.