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CAUTION: Your Social Media Accounts May Be Harmful to Your Case

By: Jonathan E. Freidin

We are constantly asked by our clients about social media and whether or not they are allowed to post while their case is pending. While some clients rely on social media for various reasons, including business in some instances, we caution all of our clients to not post anything while their case is pending. Most clients don’t realize there is very little privacy online, and anything that you post on social media may be subject to discovery and be admissible against you in your case. This is true even if you have the strictest security settings. Recently, more and more Florida courts have allowed social media evidence in personal injury cases.

Every experienced personal injury lawyer has seen cases where social media evidence has been detrimental to the case. For example, if you are claiming that you injured your leg in a car accident, but you recently posted a picture of you hiking with your friends, this picture may be admissible to prove that you are not as injured as you say you are. Or if you claim that you are no longer able to socialize with friends because of a serious injury, but your friend tags you in a post from a day at the beach, the post may be admissible, and your friend may be called to testify about their observations of your injury. We have also heard stories about plaintiffs posting about how much money they are going to receive because of their case. Again, this sort of post may be used against you by the defense at trial.

As technology develops, defense lawyers are turning to software that collects and archives all social media evidence that exists about you online. This is why it is important to have the strongest security settings on all of your accounts.

At Freidin Brown, P.A., we advise all of our clients to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Immediately change your privacy settings to make sure nothing is publicly accessible. If you don’t know how to change the settings, our team is more than happy to assist you.
  2. Do not post anything until your case is resolved.
  3. Do not delete anything until the case is resolved, as this can be construed as destroying evidence, and may be used against you at trial.
  4. Do not deactivate your account. This can have the same effect as deleting posts, and may be used against you at trial.
  5. Tell us about any posts you are worried about or think may harm your case. When you hire us as your personal injury lawyers, we abide by all legal and professional confidentiality requirements, and anything you tell your lawyers is privileged and confidential. By letting us know in advance about harmful posts, we are better equipped to anticipate arguments by the defense, and are able to prepare the case around this potentially detrimental evidence.

Freidin Brown, P.A. is a proven personal injury law firm backed by more than a century of collective experience. Together, our Florida personal injury lawyers have handled over 300 jury trials, many in excess of $1 million. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in an accident, do not hesitate to contact our legal team for help. We are available 24/7 to take your call, and our contingency fee policy means you’ll pay nothing upfront for the legal services we provide. Contact us today at 888-677-7764 for a free consultation.

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