In today’s social media driven world, people often rashly post about all of their experiences. While they may not intentionally mean any harm by doing so, using social media after a tragedy can definitely have an adverse effect. This is especially true if that tragedy leads to a wrongful death lawsuit.
While you may not realize it, utilizing social media improperly during a wrongful claim can work against your interests.
At Garcia Law Group we understand that after having to suffer through the loss of a loved one, you may want to express your emotions, or simply talk about your experience. However, it’s important to understand that social media is not the platform to use. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one and are making claims based on your grief, it is important to be mindful about what you post on social media (including FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) for two reasons that can prove to be detrimental to your wrongful death case:
- Your posts are discoverable in litigation.
- Posts can be misconstrued to suggest you are not suffering.
As a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to recognize that insurance companies WILL comb through your social media accounts looking for information that they can use to limit or deny your claim. If you inadvertently post a photo or comment that suggests you are participating in activities that a grieving person would normally not do, your lawsuit can suffer as a result. Even if you think a post is harmless, insurance companies can purposely take your post out of context to “show” that you are not actually suffering or seriously damaged by the loss.
It’s highly recommended that you completely avoid posting anything on social media until after a settlement has been reached in your case. You can also talk to your attorney if you have any questions about what sort of information you can and should not share.
If you’re going through a wrongful death lawsuit consider this for your social media use:
- Never post any information about the lawsuit online.
- Ask your friends to avoid posting anything concerning you.
- Take a break from blogging and commenting on public websites.
- Make your online profiles more private by choosing the most narrow privacy settings on your social media accounts.
- If you accidentally post something online that you think can be misinterpreted, don’t delete it. Make it private and then let your attorney know about it.
- Avoid posting photos, even if they predate the incident. A simple photo can be misconstrued to suggest you aren’t suffering.
- Ask friends and relations to avoid tagging you in photos.
- Clean up your connections, friend list, and followers. Being a member of an online group with a compromising reputation can damage your arguments.
Laws related to Internet communication are still developing, which means that even restrictive privacy settings on your accounts may not be able to protect you during litigation. Defense attorneys often request information regarding a plaintiff’s social media account to be made visible. Even accounts with aliases can be investigated.
The Garcia Law Group attorneys remind you to think twice before posting anything on social media following your loved one’s death.
Most people do not realize that social media is having a growing impact on wrongful death cases. The wrong word, or even a seemingly innocent picture of you at a friend’s birthday party, can have detrimental effects on your lawsuit. Even if you win, a single post can negatively affect the amount of compensation you may be able to receive.
Be smart and don’t use that smart-phone to instantly post about your situation.
At the Garcia Law Group we strive to ensure that the families we represent have the best fighting chance to receive the compensation and justice they deserve after losing a loved one due to another’s negligence. If you believe your loved one met an untimely death because of someone else’s fault then contact us today at (956) 661-8000 for a free consultation.
Our firm is not intimidated by challenging cases. Our reputation for skill means your legal case will be met with an ability unmatched.