The Negative Effects Social Media Can Have On Your Medical Malpractice Case
Believe it or not, most anything you put online is not private. During litigation, there is a phase called “fact discovery.” During fact discovery, the court compels the parties to exchange information requested by the opposing party, and answer questions under oath. In nearly every case, defense attorneys ask the court to compel the plaintiff to turn over their passwords to their social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and others. We vigorously fight against disclosure of information that you have deemed private. But court rulings on whether this information is discoverable vary.
Not Much is Private These Days
Even if we are successful in preventing compelled disclosure of your private online profiles, this does not stop defense counsel from viewing any of your public comments or photos. They may even view the public profiles of your family and friends, searching for any information about your case that they can use against you.
Photos of you skiing one month after suffering your injury will likely destroy your personal injury claim, even if your injury is of a nature that does not prevent skiing. If you post statements about what happened at the hospital, and these statements are not consistent with what you state during your deposition, defense counsel will point out your online statements at trial, and assert that you are not credible.
Your Case is Only for You and Your Attorney to Discuss
We recommend to all of our clients that they be extremely cautious about what they post on social media, and double check that all of their online profiles are set to private viewing only. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CASE ONLINE! Be sure to carefully consider any photographs or statements that you post. If in doubt, ask your attorney. Remember, defense attorneys are sneaky. Some of the most innocent photos could be used against you.
Litigation is not pleasant. Some of your life’s most private details may be discussed in an open forum, under oath. Taking appropriate precautions can help to ease the stress. Hiring a qualified attorney will help to guide you through the process, and avoid pitfalls that may prevent a fair recovery.
If you or a friend have been injured by another’s negligence, please contact the attorneys at G. Eric Nielson & Associates. We are happy to assist you through this process.