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PERSONAL INJURY AND SOCIAL MEDIA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

In this brave, new world we live in, social media has become an important part of how we communicate with one another. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, first dates, or any other major event or milestone is dutifully chronicled for all of our friends and family.

While it is certainly wonderful to be able to share in the experiences of the people we care about and have them share in ours, there are times when it might be wise to take a short hiatus from social media. If you have recently entered into a personal injury lawsuit, it might be one of those times.

Ready-made Evidence

Courts have increasingly allowed evidence gathered from social media sites to enter into personal injury proceedings. The types of information people share, and the frequency with which they do it provides ample amounts of evidence for both the plaintiff and defense: evidence that can destroy the plaintiff's credibility. For example, a plaintiff's credibility would suffer greatly if only days after an accident that supposedly caused debilitating back pain, there were photos documenting him/her besting the climbing wall at the gym.

Public Domain

Many people assume that because their social media accounts are set to private, that their information is safe. However, social media is ultimately public domain. Personal, private messages may still be safe in some instances, but information shared amongst friends and family may be made available for public scrutiny. Therefore, anything you post relating to your injuries or accident may be used against you. Even if you are merely trying to present a brave face to the world, posts and information can be construed in various ways; seemingly innocuous posts might make or break your case.

Things to Keep in Mind

If you have suffered a personal injury and the debilitating effects it can have on your life, there are a few things to keep in mind while pursuing a personal injury claim. First, it is prudent to find a good personal injury attorney who can help you through the process. Second, abstain from social media throughout the proceedings. It might not be necessary, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. It would also be beneficial to ask your friends and family to refrain from discussing details of your case or injuries as well. If you don't want to abstain completely from engaging in social media, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don't post details about your conversations with your attorney, insurance agents, etc.
  2. Refrain from posting details about your injuries, the accident, your medical treatments, etc.
  3. Limit photos and posts. Also, if you commonly use the "check-in" features that are readily available on most social media platforms, it would be wise to refrain from it throughout the proceedings.
  4. Be wary of new friend requests from people you don't know. It is possible that third-party individuals may be using social media to gather information about your case.

If you or a friend or loved one have sustained a personal injury and are thinking about filing a claim, you need dependable help on your side. Contact Cummings Law Firm today. We've faithfully served the Waterbury, CT area for nearly 25 years, and we are ready to help.

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