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Fighting A Medical Malpractice Legal Battle? Stay Away From Social Media!

Social media is becoming more and more popular. The many social media platforms available, including Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and others make sharing of information easy and quick.

Facebook is the leader of social media platforms and is said to have 1.4 billion users worldwide. Attorneys and insurance companies know this is the go-to site for people to post details of their personal lives or their accident. For example, an uploaded picture of a victim roller-blading after the accident, while claiming severe back pain can destroy the claim and makes the attorneys question the victim's credibility.

Around 135,000 new users sign up for Twitter accounts each day and it is an easy platform for people to broadcast their thoughts or photos. LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site that has over 100 million users in the United States, used by insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, and other interested parties to find information on victims.

Pinterest and YouTube are other major platforms used by attorneys to build a case. Uploading pictures and videos of engaging in activities after injury or accident can prove particularly dangerous.

How Do Social Media Harm Your Chances?

Medical malpractice attorneys warn their clients that sharing private information is not always wise, and can harm their chances in legal disputes, whether it is related to accident or injury or medical malpractice.

Attorneys also advice their clients in the beginning of a lawsuit that to stop putting information on the social media altogether, but to not delete the content off of any platform, since that may be taken as destruction of evidence. They also advise that the profiles of the victim should be made private and that they not befriend anyone not known to them personally. They can go back to being active on social media after the case is over.

For instance, if an accident victim that claims to have severe shoulder pain has been posting pictures of themselves hiking and doing physical activity, the insurance adjuster or defense attorneys may use these photos against them and reduce the value of the injury claim because the victim does not appear to be injured.

Defense Can Gain Access To Social Media Accounts

If it is medical malpractice case, and the client unknowingly posts pictures of mountain climbing, playing basketball or changing a tire, for example, these can be used by the defense against the client in the court.

The defense attorneys scour social media to see if there are any public accounts, and also hire investigators to look into the social media platforms and find pictures or comments posted on the injuries sustained. The defense can also request access to social media. Some courts authorize the same, while some may not. It is prudent to note that all social media posts are public, even when posts or pictures are made visible to only "friends", and available to any attorney who obtains a subpoena to look through the social media platform.

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