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How to Lose Your Personal Injury Case: Facebook, Myspace, and other Social Media Pitfalls

Submitted by Anonymous on Mar 18th, 2009

We've been talking with colleagues around the United States, and one thing remains crystal clear these days: Facebook and Myspace, as wonderful as they are, can be dangerous for legal cases.

Increasingly, attorneys are using social media outlets such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, and personal blogs to do a bit of research and discovery on the people involved in a legal claim or lawsuit. Think of the photos, videos, writings, basic information - even your friends and their comments - readily available. And don't be fooled into thinking your information is entirely private. Anything tagged to you, whether created by you or not, is searchable, and more often than not, it can be found.

Need evidence? How about the story of a woman charged in a fatal drunk driving accident who felt so much remorse, she went out partying - and drinking - the next day - and the photos were readily available through her Myspace profile.

The insurance attorneys love searching for and finding this information and presenting it during negotiations and trial. And it's a surefire way to reduce settlement options, or even lose your case entirely. A recent law article regarding Facebook and insurance claims argues that this information is entirely valid, and can be presented in court as any other document.

So what to do? As our high school health teachers said, abstinence is ideal. But where abstinence fails, protection and vigilance are key. Both for clients and their attorneys.