A hot topic in the legal community is the impact of social media during the legal process. This recently became a big deal in Montana Federal Court when a person related to the defense in a large civil case was Tweeting updates during a jury trial. Some jurors found out about it, and the judge was not pleased, to say the least.
Social media such as Twitter, Myspace and Facebook also can have a major negative impact on an insurance claim. Remember, insurance companies are in the business of making money, so they spend money to make your claim look bad, or worse than it is. Anything you put on social media is on the internet for anyone to access, and if you have an insurance claim or lawsuit pending, they will find it. I now ask all of my clients to either temporarily suspend all social media accounts during a claim or not put anything on them. The reason is that any pictures or updates you list can be interpreted as you doing activities that you may be claiming you cannot do because of injury.
This literally cost one of my clients thousands of dollars. Please learn from his mistake. This client posted updates on his Myspace account detailing illegal activity as well as an incident where he crashed a car when he was fleeing from the police shortly after he had been in a legitimate car accident that I represented him on. I did not know about the online content, but the insurance company did. When the insurance company told us to access my clients Myspace account we saw for the first time what they had known for months. Needless to day, they pulled all of their money off of the table and dared us to take the case to trial. The client settled without trial, but for much less than he could have if he just would have not put any information on social medial.
The lesson here is that anything can be taken out of context and you literally have no protection when you place anything on the internet. So, if you have any type of legal claim pending, please don’t put your exploits on social medial for the world to see. The world will not see it, the insurance company will.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.