Just over a decade ago no one had a smart phone. Think about how much our society has changed. Unfortunately, the laws are slow to catch up and our addictions will affect us in ways we have not imagined.
Any time you apply for anything… anticipate that you will be Google Searched at a minimum, plus a facebook profile review and maybe a deeper search by an IT professional.
Universities and colleges look at applicant’s social media, just like managers and bosses who want to review your character after receiving your job application or an interview. Many people are disqualified by their party pictures, bathing suit pictures, poorly thought out comments or statuses, you get the picture.
Why don’t you try it now and see what comes up. Imagine you are an investigator and see what photos and items you can find that attach to your name and reputation.
Social media has also stretched into the law, changing old standing laws and shaping new precedents. Social media has introduced scary things like cyber bullying, webcam hacking, stalking, and harassment… all things that have led to real jail time and criminal records.
At MILLARS we work with the law, by protecting people and fighting for them. We have seen social media sink lawsuits and we have used social media posts to defend our clients. We go so far as to hire expert social media investigators for some of our cases and the positive impact for our clients is tremendous.
Sadly, we can’t control everything. So, when one of our personal injury clients comes to a discovery claiming they cannot work or get out of bed and the Insurance company provides me with a facebook post of them water skiing on their friends page, we shake our heads and remind them how we went over how ‘tagging’ on Facebook works.
Even seemingly harmless posts can be used against you, the above example is a case of attempted insurance fraud, we do not condone such actions, but why give the other side ammunition to attack you for harmless acts taken out of context.
You must know that your material, once out in the web is no longer yours and can be manipulated and distorted.
Civil suits are designed to recover damages because the plaintiff’s life was negatively changed by an injury sustained by the actions of another. Keep in mind, that someone else is defended by another attorney, who was hired and paid to prove that the plaintiff (you) is exaggerating their complaints.
Not all injuries suffered have to be physical injuries. Mental health and well-being, emotional duress, PTSD, and financial loss are also legitimate claims. It may seem unfair, but posts of you smiling and having fun or of a new car you just bought could be used against you to lower your damages and destroy your credibility.
We understand that people tend to post the positive, many say social media is a highlight reel of your life, where you only post the best things that have and are happening to you.
The problem is that these are tools that can be used against you if you are claiming that your injury deprives you of the normal enjoyments of life.
The dangers of social media stretch farther than positive social media posts, negative posts can also be used against you. Posting angry social media posts can backfire as the defense often uses these posts to paint you as angry or just wanting to ruin the defendant’s reputation. The defense is often quick to use these posts as a way to claim that the plaintiff is not actually injured but is pissed off and is using it as a way to get more money.
The bottom line is, keep your social media private, and think long and hard before you post something. Think, could this be used against me? Could I use this against someone else if I was in the position of the defense? This is extremely important as making the quick decision to post a photo could cost you all the damages that you are entitled to.
Contact us today for any legal help
519 657 1LAW or email@example.com