State and federal courts across the country continue to allow the admission of evidence garnered from litigants’ Facebook accounts. The social media site is designed to be a platform on which its users can share and express their viewpoints, affiliations, likes and dislikes, and even photos and videos of themselves. However, Maryland personal injury attorneys warn that an overzealous Facebook user can do serious damage to their personal injury case by posting too much online.
What many personal injury victims fail to realize is that defendant insurance companies will stop at nothing to obtain information about your behaviors after your injury has occurred. They know that emergency physicians and treating specialists can only do so much to diagnose the extent of a patient’s personal injuries, and that the patient is the only person who can truly give accurate and up-to-date accounts of how they are feeling at any given time.
The problem with a lot of personal injury clients is that they feel compelled to post things related to their injury on their Facebook account just like they would post any other thing about their lives. Defendant insurance companies will monitor the injured victim’s Facebook account and record the victim’s statements and pictures. You, as the victim, may be significantly injured, but responding very well to treatment. If you were to post repeated status updates on Facebook as to how well you are progressing, the defendant insurance company – and the court – may interpret your optimism as evidence that you are not as injured to such a degree as you alleged.
Conversely, Maryland divorce attorneys warn that divorcing parties should refrain from posting anything about their divorce on Facebook. It is common nowadays for opposing parties – and their attorneys – to monitor each other’s Facebook accounts for evidence that can be used to prove fault or determine grounds for granting certain custody or visitations rights to one party over the other. Even if you have set your privacy settings from “public” to “private,” an opposing party may still be able to use an agent to obtain information. After all, aren’t we always amazed to learn how we are connected with some of the most seemingly random people?
For those divorcing parties with older children, the same should be said for their Facebook accounts. Without proper monitoring, children can sometimes inadvertently disclose sensitive information about their parents’ divorce. Worse yet, one parent might ask the child to spy against the other parent, causing considerable emotional damage to all parties involved.
The fact remains that Facebook can be a vital social media tool, but only if its utilities are not abused for purposes of a lawsuit. Maryland attorneys are skilled at protecting the privacy and confidentiality interests of their clients. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or are embroiled in the divorce process, keep in mind that the courtroom battle should not be waged on Facebook, but rather under the supervision of a skilled Maryland personal injury or divorce attorney.
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