If you’re in the process of a personal injury claim, you might want to tell the world about it. Chances are you’re feeling frustration and indignation at the party who committed negligence. However, it’s imperative to think before you speak – or maybe refrain from speaking about your case at all. Here are a few compelling reasons to keep your mouth closed during the personal injury negotiation and litigation process:
Everyone’s heard this saying before. It’s part of the Miranda warning, which police officers recite to the people they arrest. While you’re in the midst of a civil trial, not a criminal one, the same basic concept applies. The defendant’s attorneys can use anything you say about the case to challenge the legitimacy your claims and build their own case. Something as simple as a smiling photo on social media may indicate to the defense that your “pain and suffering” is not as bad as you make it out to be. It may seem outlandish, but it happens in courtrooms more often than you think. This is why many attorneys will advise against any social media use throughout the personal injury litigation process.
It’s never a good idea to talk to the press about litigation process. When you talk to the press about your case, you’re creating a public record that everyone can see, including the defense and their legal team. This also means that anything you say will be admissible in court. Like traditional media outlets, anything you post on social media becomes a matter of public record – and also admissible in court.
The best thing you can do is deactivate your social media accounts while you litigation is pending. If you can’t make this work, at least set all your accounts to private and don’t accept any new friend requests, as this could be defense attorneys attempting to access your profile.
It’s natural to want to talk through our most difficult personal situations, and injury-causing accidents certainly qualify. We might want to vent about our frustrations to our friends, family, or virtual network. Unfortunately, this has a history of not ending well.
A Florida man settled a claim with his former employer, a high school. His teenage daughter soon after posted on Facebook that the high school was paying for her European vacation. The school found out and filed an appeal. After reviewing the evidence, the appeals court agreed with the school and docked $80,000 from the man’s settlement.
Never talk about your case online. Refrain venting to strangers and anyone who connected to your personal injury case. It might end up costing you more than you think.
Talking about your case while it’s in the process can seriously damage your chances at achieving a full and fair settlement or court judgment. Anything you say, either on social media or to the press, can become admissible in court. It’s best to err on the side of caution and shut down your social media use throughout a case, as even posts unrelated to the case could hurt you. Ask your attorney about proper etiquette during your personal injury proceeding. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut – it could make a big difference in your case.