We all do it. We turn to social media as a source of self-expression and an avenue for venting our frustrations. Whether it be through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter, or Reddit, social media is the new “normal” medium of communication. It is an efficient, comfortable, and socially acceptable avenue for keeping your friends and family apprised of how you are doing and what is going on in your life. Whether you utilize social media as an outlet to connect with friends and loved ones or as a way to kill time on your lunch break, you might want to think before you post if you happen to be the victim of a personal injury.
If you have posted something on the internet, it is likely that anyone with Google search and a mission can access your social media posts. Should a defense attorney spend a few hundred bucks to retain a private investigator, your even your page privacy settings will be of little consequence in your efforts at keeping your private life “private” while in the midst of a civil lawsuit.
The natural and common desire to connect with friends and family through the use of social media is not only understandable, but often the only avenue available to ensure that you stay in touch with loved ones living across seas or even a state away. However, if you are the victim of personal injury accident in Georgia and you plan to seek compensation through a settlement or a trial, you should consider taking a break from social media for a bit. Even if you have not yet officially retained a Georgia personal injury attorney, let alone seriously thought about seeking recovery for your accident-related injuries, it is in your best interest to think twice before posting anything on the web.
Whether you have suffered debilitating and traumatic personal injuries resulting from a car accident, dog bite, work related injury or otherwise, the innate desire to share your experience and seek the love and support from your loved ones is not only natural, but often the most efficient means of garnering the support necessary to help you along the way of your healing process.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunately a double edged sword. While the use of social media may be instrumental to your healing process, it may also be fatal to the success of your personal injury claim. Your best bet to understanding exactly how social media can affect your personal injury action as well as how to adjust your online posts accordingly can be accomplished by contacting a legal representative as soon as you suspect that you may want to seek legal recourse for personal injuries caused by anther’s negligence.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of John B. Jackson in the Douglasville, Georgia area know all about social media and the potential consequences that your online activity may have on your personal injury claim. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today to learn your boundaries so you do not inadvertently alter the outcome of your case.
Common Ways Social Medical Could Impact a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Georgia
Harming your Credibility
An individual’s underlying feelings, emotions, and physical state are not always accurately portrayed across the social media platform. We all like to put our best face forward, figuratively speaking. Although you may be in excruciating pain or suffering from severe accident-related depression, chances are that you will put on a smile to snap that selfie that you intend on sharing with your friends and family. While this may initially seem harmless, it can be devastating to your personal injury action.
Defense attorneys will more likely than not attempt to introduce that smiling picture that you posted on Facebook into evidence as a way of downplaying your alleged injuries. In fact, they will attempt to utilize any and all pictures, videos, or posts that are ultimately inconsistent with the injuries and damages that you are alleging in your personal injury action.
The defense will attempt to introduce this type of evidence in hopes that these posts may lead a prospective jury to believe that you are not being entirely honest about the nature and extent of your injuries. Inconsistencies are never a good thing in a personal injury action. It is imperative that a jury finds you to be credible. Giving any sort of impression to the contrary could greatly diminish the amount of compensation that you are ultimately awarded.
Harming your Character
While character is not necessarily as important as credibility for the purposes of harming your personal injury lawsuit, it is nevertheless a very important piece of the overall picture. That is – it plays a huge role in creating the overall impression that you will give to a jury. Posting derogatory material about the Defendant, or otherwise venting by sharing an angry or heated lawsuit-related post could give a jury the impression that you have poor character. This could not only negatively affect the impression that you give a jury, but it could also call your motives into question. Namely, you may inadvertently make it seem as if your motive for filing the subject lawsuit was more about anger and revenge than recovering you’re your accident-related injuries and damages.
What Can I Do to Ensure Social Media Does Not Impact My Georgia Personal Injury Claim?
The best thing that you can do to avoid negatively impacting your personal injury is to take a social media vacation during the course of your litigation. Not only would “unplugging” be a good way to focus on healing from you accident related injuries, but it is the only way to be entirely certain that social media will not impact the outcome of your lawsuit.
Nevertheless, we live in a world where social media has become intricately interwoven with day-to-day life. As such, “unplugging” is not always a realistic option for most people. However, here are a few safeguards that you can employ if ignoring social media is not an option for you:
Use Your Privacy Settings
Make sure that you adjust your privacy settings so that your social media activity is not available to the public at large. Limit the visibility of your social media account to only friends and family.
Reduce Your Social Media Activity as Much as Possible
While completely eliminating social media throughout the lengthy process of litigation is not a feasible option for most, it would be wise to at least tap the brakes a bit. Posting every day or multiple times per day will only increase the likelihood that one of those posts is used against you in court.
Do NOT Post Anything About the Lawsuit
While the emotional and physical turmoil that often accompanies a personal injury action may result in an understandable urge to share your anger, frustrations, and experiences throughout the course of litigation with your friends and loved ones, doing so could hurt the outcome of your lawsuit. Your desire to share and connect with your family during this process is natural. However, it would be in your best interests to connect with those closest to you through a different medium such as the phone or in person.
Be Mindful – Think Before You Post
Most importantly, always take a second and think before pressing that “post” button. Always ask yourself the following questions:
“How does this reflect upon my character?”
“Is there any way that this post could be tied to any of my accident-related injuries?”
Trust yourself and be mindful. If you suspect that a particular post could harm your credibility or character in the eyes of a jury, you’re probably right. It’s best to not post it.
Consult with a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
The moment following your accident can be a very harrowing time. While you may be tempted to spread the news online, instead you should use your phone to reach out to a Georgia personal injury attorney at The Law Office of John B. Jackson.