Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss the Perils of Social Media During LitigationNovember 24, 2015
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have transformed the way people connect with family, friends and the rest of the world. However, the ubiquitous nature of social networking has made it a veritable treasure trove of personal information and a source of potentially damaging evidence. In recent years, social media profiles have been used in countless criminal, personal injury, employment and family law cases. Though the rules regarding how this information can be obtained and used in court are still evolving, it is important to understand the enormous impact social media posts can have on the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit.
Historically, if an insurance company wanted to investigate the validity of an injured party’s claim, it was necessary to hire a private investigator to follow the person around in hopes of snapping a picture of the unsuspecting claimant raking their leaves without issue or carrying in heavy bags of groceries. The defense would then use the photo as evidence that proves the injury could not be as severe as the plaintiff alleges. The process was time-consuming, expensive and not always fruitful. While this tactic is still used by many insurers and opposing attorneys in personal injury and Workers’ Compensation cases, many more are turning to social media to find the evidence they need.
Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton offer the following advice for managing your social media accounts while your personal injury case is pending.
- Do not post or publish anything about your case, injuries, health or activities on any social networking sites. Even better, forego sharing any information about yourself online until your case is fully resolved.
- Request that your friends and family do not post any photos or videos of you online and disable the tagging feature on your social media accounts.
- Do not attempt to “clean up” your profile by deleting previous posts or photos. At a minimum, this could be perceived as a sign of guilt; at worst, you could be subject to sanctions for failing to preserve relevant evidence.
- Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know well. Doing so could put you at risk of granting unfettered access of your profile for the opposing party to use against you.
- Increase your privacy settings on all social media platforms. Keep in mind, however, that this does not necessarily protect your information from falling into the hands of those who wish to use it to deny your claim.
If you have recently been injured in a car accident, slip and fall or workplace accident, or are planning to pursue any other type of personal injury claim, you are advised to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Baltimore personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will advise you of your rights and help you avoid any missteps that could potentially hurt your claim.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Injured Accident Victims
At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, our attorneys have helped thousands of accident victims navigate the legal process and recover substantial compensation for their injuries. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skilled Maryland personal injury lawyers. A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call and address your concerns 24 hours a day or you can contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson. We represent individuals and families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.