Don't Hit Share! How Social Media Can Impact Your Legal Matter

Don't Hit Share! How Social Media Can Impact Your Legal Matter

LawChamps
 | 
Social media has changed the world and the way we interact with each other. Because of social media, strangers become friends, news is consumed faster, and life experiences are shared.

But sharing everything on social media can also impact your legal matter. Here are five areas of law where social media can make or break a case.

Personal Injury. In a typical personal injury case, a plaintiff is injured due to someone else’s negligence and seeks compensation for medical care, lost time at work, lifestyle change, etc., resulting from the injuries. But a social media post can ruin your case. This is what happened to one person who was involved in a car accident and claimed severe, life-changing injuries, and depression. But her 
social media photos showed her happy, drinking with her friends, and performing outdoor activities that questioned her injury claims. Social media can call into question the extent and severity of your injury claims, which can sink your case.

Criminal Defense. If you are charged with a crime and plead not guilty, but later use social media to talk about the crime, how soon do you think the evidence will be used to prove that you are guilty?  This has happened to countless people, who even went as far as 
bragging about their crimes on social media.

Family law. When it comes to divorce, things can get messy pretty quickly. When there are children involved, it can get even messier. Courts often consider what is in the best interests of the children when making decisions on things such as custody, visitation, and child support. Social media can help make these decisions easier for the courts. This is what happened to one person who 
asked her 8-year-old daughter to video record her striptease dancing so that she could send the video to a fictitious person posing as a social worker on social media.

Employment Law. Unfortunately people get fired all of the time.  Within the context of employment law, there are state and federal laws that protect an employee from being fired because of race, gender, age, or in retaliation for calling out an employer’s misconduct. But what if you were fired because of your social media posts? This is what happened to one person who was fired after 
criticizing her employer’s customers on social media. Social media posts can make it easy for an employer to justify the firing an employee.

Bankruptcy. There are several types of bankruptcy, but the basic meaning of bankruptcy is that you or your business need help from the courts to get rid of debt and repay creditors because you are financially unable to do so. But wouldn’t it be hard to convince a judge that you have financial problems when you post a photo next to a stack of money on social media? In fact, 
this is what one person did and the judge ordered him to explain the money in the photo.

Jury Duty. When you are called to serve as a juror in a case, your job is to determine guilt or innocence based on the evidence in a criminal case, or to determine liability and damages based on the evidence in a civil case. Because of these high stakes, jurors undergo a rigorous selection process to determine their ability to be fair and impartial in a case. However, this can be called into question if a juror uses social media to share intimate details about a case to help decide a case, which is 
exactly what happened to a juror in one trial.

Social media has positively impacted billions of people around the world. From a legal standpoint, it is important to be mindful of what you share on social media because it may come back to harm you. Whenever there is a doubt about whether a legal matter could be harmed because of a social media post, the advice is plain and simple: don’t hit share.

This free article is brought to you by LawChamps, a new and innovative way to get you matched with attorneys who can handle your legal needs.

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

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