A recent trend in legal matters is the acceptance of social media findings into the courtroom. For many people, this means that their pictures, status updates, messages to friends, and other personal information may be used in court to either strengthen or weaken their case. Employers are also getting involved in looking into their employee's social media circles, and some are requesting social media passwords of both employees and interviewees applying for jobs. Employers may also request "shoulder surfing", where an employee/interviewee logs into their social media site and surfs through their profile and pages while their employer/interviewer is watching.
This has many implications for clients pursuing a personal injury claim. Similar to applying for a job or being an employee within a company, your social media activity is not as private or as protected as you may think. For example, an innocent picture of you enjoying a short walk after your accident may be misconstrued as a full and complete recovery. Additionally, posts/comments from friends suggesting that you're healthier than you really are may come across as you being insincere about your injury as well. Social media may become dangerous for a case when certain pictures or comments are taken out of context and may be used against you. For this reason, if you are hesitant about posting a picture or writing a comment that you feel may be used against your case, use discretion and do not post that item. It may be even be better to not discuss your injury, and especially your legal claim, over Facebook at all. The only way to keep your personal life as private as you want it to be is to not post anything you wouldn't want everyone to know about.
If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.