In this day of connectedness and mobility it’s hard to stay away from your online social profiles. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Google +, Vine, LinkedIn, etc., etc., etc., and so on we are constantly connecting, talking, interfacing, posting, and tumbling. But are you thinking about how your online interactions can impact your case?
Whether you’re the plaintiff in a case or you’re on the defense, what you do online can have an impact on your standing in a personal injury case. Even if you have set your accounts to have the highest level of privacy, that information and those posts can, and likely will, end up in the hands of opposing counsel.
More and more often, the courts are forcing those on both sides to hand over any usernames and passwords to online profiles as part of the discovery process. And you can be sure that any posts you’ve made online are going to be reviewed by all attorneys involved. And those attorneys won’t just review what you’ve posted since the accident or incident, they’re going to be reviewing your entire online lifestyle for anything that can help their case and harm yours.
Now many, upon hearing this news, will think it a good idea to go in and “clean up” their profiles, both from before and after the date of the incident. As your attorney should tell you, and if you come to us, we’ll be sure to let you know, that this too can have a negative impact on your case. In fact, it may be considered as tampering of evidence, and could have greater repercussions including the loss of your case, fines assessed, and even having charges filed.
If you’re on the plaintiff’s side and your case has merit, and you or your family were harmed; or if you’re on the defense’s side, and you know you’ve done nothing wrong, and that you have solid ground to stand on, then what you post online shouldn’t matter. Either way, you need to let your attorney know about your online profiles, and let them review what is there. Not to change anything, but so they have all the information about who you are, what your life is like, and to formulate a strategy to combat any theories opposing counsel will have.
If you have been in an accident and would like someone to review your case, please contact us. We will look at the facts of your case and determine its merits.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys