Are you familiar with the part of the Miranda Rights according to which, when you are arrested, “everything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”? Don’t forget about it when you have an ongoing personal injury lawsuit in Atlanta, Georgia and you use social media. The defendant can and will use your social media posts against you.
You probably see no harm in letting your friends know how you are, what you are thinking about, how you kill time, or why you are upset. However, the jury could give your social media posts a different interpretation, so you should think twice before hitting the “post” button.
Unfortunately, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use the social media during a personal injury lawsuit, and Atlanta personal injury attorneys usually advise their clients to take a break from social media during the trial. The best way to understand the consequences of your actions is to take a look at the different post categories and how they can impact your case.
Social Media Post Categories and How They Can Impact Your Atlanta Personal Injury Case
Anything you post on your social media accounts leaves room for interpretation and the following examples should convince you of that:
Positive, fun posts – You may be tempted to show your virtual friends how strong you are and how easily you get over injuries and financial issues, even though, in reality, you barely drag yourself from one room to another and from one paycheck to the next. The defendant in your personal injury case will most likely use your posts as a proof that the injuries and related expenses you sustained due to their negligence were not as serious as you claim. The jury could feel the same way upon seeing your social media posts.
Negative, depressing posts – Judging by the above, you may be tempted to believe that negative posts, meant to show your pain and suffering could help your personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Jurors don’t appreciate self-pity posts either, starting from the premise that people who are in pain or desperate need rest or practical solution and don’t waste their time on social media.
Ranting against the defendant – When you find yourself injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you have every right to be angry and want to let some of that anger out.
Unfortunately, doing it on the social networks won’t help your personal injury case. The defendant in your personal injury lawsuit will do everything in their power to prove that your injuries were the result of an accident they did not cause intentionally and, maybe, had no way to avoid. If you attack them personally, you will turn from a victim into an aggressor, and the jurors may think less of you. Your injuries are no excuse for disrespect and hurting someone else’s feelings and image.
No matter how many types of social posts we look at and how many scenarios we consider, the conclusion would be the same: it is best to keep to yourself, talk to your friends in person, on the phone, or through text messages, and update your account’s security settings to prevent strangers from seeing your posts.
You can never know who sees your social media posts and how they interpret them, and it is better to be safe than sorry. If it is any consolation, you will have plenty of time to catch up when you receive your personal injury compensation and use it to enjoy an awesome vacation, replace your car, or update your wardrobe.
If you have already posted details of your personal injury lawsuit on your social media accounts, the only way to make sure the defendant will not use those posts against you is to discuss their content with your Atlanta personal injury attorney. If you have not contacted one yet, now would be a great time to do it.
Hire an Attorney and Make Sure Your Social Media Posts Don’t Hurt Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
In theory, removing your old social media posts could remove some of the risks. In practice, many investigators have their ways to obtain evidence you would not expect and find witnesses to testify against you, even among your friends and relatives.
For the sake of your peace of mind and of your personal injury lawsuit, you should consult an experienced, dedicated, and communicative Atlanta personal injury attorney like John B. Jackson. Together, we can review your social media posts and build a solid personal injury case no matter what strategy the defendant uses against you. Call the Atlanta office today to schedule a free case review.