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Can Social Media Affect My Case?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snap Chat…it seems like the list of social media platforms is endless! The reality is that we live in a time where we cannot escape the use of social media in our daily lives. Whether you are an occasional user/poster or share every thought or event on a daily basis, one must be careful about what they share when they are in involved in a legal matter. Depending on the type of legal matter, certain types of information can certainly impact the proceedings in a very negative way.
Once you bring a claim involving either personal injury or a family law matter, rules known as “Discovery” must be followed. Discovery is a procedure where evidence is gathered and exchanged between all parties involved in the lawsuit. The types of information that legally must be provided during discovery can include bank records, photographs, credit card statements and even medical records.
As technology has advanced, courts have modified discovery rules as to what is admissible and now consistently allow information from social media outlets to be “discovered.” This includes acquiring photographs and posts from social media accounts to prove or disprove certain facts. For example, if one is claiming that their back was injured in a car accident, a social media post from a ski vacation while your case is pending could have a negative impact on your claim. Similarly, a parent involved in custody dispute may not find it wise to consistently make posts about partying or drinking. One’s initial thought may lead to the conclusion that what they put on social media is private. To the contrary, depending on the type of case, social media posts can be highly relevant to the case or legal proceedings. Irrespective of the privacy settings on your social media, do not allow social media to hurt the outcome of your legal case.