Social Networking & Litigation
Transcript: Insurance companies these days are very inventive in trying to look at people who have been involved in an accident and examine their Facebook page or some of their other networking accounts like Twitter to try to figure out if they are doing something that is inconsistent with their being an injury. For example, if you posted on your Facebook page that you are at a wedding and you’re holding up a wine glass giving a toast to someone, immediately that becomes evidence that you are excessively using alcohol. If you have been making complaints that your back is hurting you and you can’t work, but you are posting Facebook pictures of going to the beach with friends, that is inconsistent. So, though we find that our clients would never be involved in anything that is inconsistent with their injury, it is important as a reminder that they can go in the background of your Facebook accounts or your other accounts and try to get information. And some courts have compelled parties to disclose information, and others have required that that information be kept confidential, or at least part of it. But, it is our suggestion and thought that during the time you are recovering from any kind of an accident you certainly don’t want to be posting information about the accident to a Facebook account. You don’t want to be recounting how your injury hurts you on your Facebook account. Those kinds of things are not the type of thing that you want to make on an account like that. Now we do believe it is important to keep a private journal of how you’re feeling and what’s going on in terms of getting back and forth to the doctor’s, what the doctor has told you, and that kind of information to refresh your recollection at some time in the future if there’s a trial. But generally suspending use of Facebook accounts and other social networking accounts during the time that litigation is a prospect is the most wise and appropriate thing to do.