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What Should I Do If I Have Social Media Accounts And A Legal Case In Kentucky?
It is best to assume that all of your social media accounts will be reviewed as a result of your case. Posts on social are not confidential and can come into all types of legal actions, including family law (like divorce or custody actions), criminal defense, and personal injury (like auto accidents and wrongful death) cases. Therefore, recommend you complete the following steps so your case isn’t negatively affected by social media and/or the internet:
- Don’t Post to Social Media Until After Your Case Is Resolved
Don’t post details about your accident, injuries, and/or recovery on a social media site or personal blog. This includes uploading videos and photos, or responding to others’ comments about your legal issue.
- Search or Google yourself.
The opposing party is likely going to do it, so make sure what they find isn’t going to hurt your claim. If you see “search results” that concern you, contact your attorney so the findings can be evaluated by your attorney.
- Don’t let your friends post about you.
You need to assume their information will also be accessed by the other side. For example, a friend who “checks you into locations” or posts photos of you being active can unknowingly harm a personal injury claim.
- INCREASE your privacy settings.
Strict privacy settings may not limit complete access by outside sources, but it can help to limit any past, present, or future information that may hurt your claim. It can also help address what information friends and family can post on your account.
- Don’t Accept Friend Requests For People You Don’t Know
It is possible that the person sending you that friend request is not a friend, and hopes to obtain information about your case. Therefore, it is extremely risky to exchange email and social media messages with individuals you don’t know on social media while involved in a legal action.
Will Following These Steps Work?
There is no guarantee that taking these steps will completely secure you from the other side finding information about you, but the steps above can help to potentially limit the discovery of negative evidence. The only way to truly make sure social media doesn’t affect your case is to avoid it.
Do Not Delete Any Accounts Or Posts
There can be a desire to delete accounts or posts to ‘clean up’ your accounts, however you should not. It is best to consider your social media accounts and past posts as frozen until the end of the case. Deleting accounts or posts can be considered an intentional act to hide evidence from the other side. The duty to preserve evidence begins from the time you reasonably believe you will be filing suit.
It is difficult to know all the ways that social media can negatively affect your case, whether it is for an injury you suffered or to determine custody and visitation of your child. With that in mind it is best to always use judgment on what you post online and stop using social media until your lawsuit has concluded.