Social media has revolutionized the way most people conduct their day-to-day lives. In fact, it has allowed people to keep friends and family up-to-date via posts, photographs, and more. But, when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit (more specifically, a medical malpractice claim), your use of social media should be limited. Social media plays a big role in court cases these days, and thanks to the access that the other attorneys will have to your personal information online, you could find that your case is given a smaller settlement than it deserves, or is dismissed.
How Social Medical Can Hurt Your Medical Malpractice Claim
According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, two-thirds of adults in the United States currently use social media – including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Over the past decade, social media has become a forum for sharing. What you share on social media will not only affect your personal life, but it will play a role in your professional life now, too.
What you say or do online, via social media, can be used against you in a personal injury claim. The Internet is one of the first places insurance claims adjusters look to see if your claim is legitimate or to disprove what you are claiming about your malpractice injury. Social media posts can not only be used to dispute your injuries, but the date, time, and location of your posts can be used to invalidate the events entirely.
Liking or following certain wellness pages may also be used against you. Certain pages could indicate preexisting conditions or even be used to prove that you are dramatizing your injuries to become a member of a particular group online.
Photos that you post via social media are becoming increasingly popular for defense evidence. They are used to cast doubt on your version of the injury, your personality and character, and the extent of your injuries. Just some examples of the types of photos and posts that can be detrimental to your case include:
- Photographs or videos showing your participation in physical activities – even doing yardwork or running with family and friends.
- Status updates that indicate you are doing activities that are contrary to the injuries you claim in your malpractice suit.
- Status updates that discuss the terms of your lawsuit (when you were prohibited as part of the settlement agreement).
- Posts that admit your own liability, or that you may have exaggerated your injuries.
While the rules of evidence could find your posts written online as inadmissible, they are hard to dispute and can be used during negotiations to disprove a person’s case.
You Can Protect Yourself During Your Malpractice Claim
Just because you have filed a medical malpractice claim doesn’t mean you cannot use social media. But, you need to be overly cautious about how you use it – so that nothing you say or do can be used against you. Some ways you can protect yourself include:
- Using caution when you make comments – or even after posting photographs and videos of yourself.
- Setting your social media profiles to private so that only friends or family members can see your personal information.
- Realize that once you post something, it can remain on that company’s server permanently – even if you deleted it.
- Do not allow yourself to be tagged in photos or videos – including those that are old but could be perceived as new.
- Block any applications that allow sharing your information with others.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney Regarding Your Case
If you have been injured, your best line of defense is to contact an attorney. An attorney will tell you how to act and what you can/cannot do during your malpractice claim. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.