Imagine you are a defense lawyer. Your client is a physician who is being sued for medical malpractice. You are doing research on the plaintiff — the person allegedly injured — and run across their social media page. You see this:
“Hiking in the woods today. Fresh air does a body good!” on Facebook. The post is attached to several photos of the plaintiff walking a large dog through the woods.
But wait. The plaintiff has said that they have difficulty walking. Your client’s mistake caused the plaintiff to lose their ability to enjoy life. They are on a constant course of pain medication.
You just found the fuel that you need to win your case for the physician.
Now imagine that you are the plaintiff. You are more than the one billion people who have a social media account, and yours just ruined your case. If you don’t want to experience this scenario, you have to be smart about social media. Here are some tips.
1. Privacy Settings
It’s up to you to control who can see your account. Hide your friends list from anyone who isn’t your friend. Set your privacy and security settings as high as they can go. Limit who can view posts and photos that you are tagged in. While this won’t stop the courts from accessing your posts with a subpoena, it will greater lower suspicion of wrongdoing.
2. Watch How You Vent
In fact, don’t vent at all. Don’t post about your bad medical experience. Don’t leave a negative review about a doctor. If you have had a bad health care experience, follow the correct channels to have your opinion heard. If you vent about your health care professional or care in general online, it could hurt you if you end up filing a lawsuit, as you may come across as vindictive.
3. Stay Silent About Your Case
Friends and family will ask you how your case is going. Don’t answer them on social media. Don’t post about the progress of your case. Your lawsuit is private. Anything on social media is public. Regardless of your privacy settings, an attorney can get a warrant for your social media accounts. Nothing is private.
4. Don’t Make New Friends
Do not be tempted to friend your lawyer or any of their staff while your case is pending. You don’t want to create any links between you and your attorney that could be used against you later.
5. Don’t Delete Anything
Many people forget that social media is evidence. If you decide to delete your account, you could very well be accused of tampering with evidence down the line. If you have things you believe are questionable on your account, leave them and discuss the issues with your attorney.
Don’t let your social media accounts ruin your medical malpractice case. If you have any questions as to your handling of your accounts, speak to your attorney. Doing the right things now can save you big later.
If you have been harmed by a doctor in Charleston and want to talk about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, reach out to our team of attorneys. We will guide you in the right direction and help you make the best decisions for you and your family.