Social media is an integral part of your life. You probably can't go a day without posting an experience or thought, or checking in with your network to know how they're doing. But when you're in the middle of suing a healthcare professional or medical facility, you need to take a break from your online life.
Your Life as Evidence
All lawsuits go through the discovery process. The pre-trial stage allows your medical malpractice attorney and the respondent's lawyer to get more information about the case. It's an opportunity to uncover crucial evidence that may help your lawyer win, and persuade the opponent to offer a settlement to avoid losing in court.
Conversely, the evidence could work against your case, giving the respondent's lawyer ammunition in court to have your medical malpractice dismissed. That evidence could be a post you made on Facebook, revealing how your life was not entirely affected by the doctor's negligent actions. If your claim includes loss of physical activities, and a post on Facebook shows you swimming or dancing, the opponent's lawyer will put that into evidence.
So lawyers use social media as a source of information. If it's relevant to the lawsuit, your opponent's lawyer can subpoena the courts to get access. A claim to "right of privacy" will not matter. Courts find that once you share content with others, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Deleting is Not a Good Idea
Because your life on social media can become evidence, deleting a post or deactivating your account could make matters worst. The court may award you with fines or sanction you for spoliation. Spoliation, which is the act of destroying evidence, could also negatively affect your lawsuit.
Aside from maintaining your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account to preserve evidence, you may also want to stay off social media while your lawyer works to get you just compensation. You don't need to post anything new. If you feel like posting an image, a comment, or video, think for a moment. A seemingly innocent post could mean losing your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Your life online will have an impact on your lawsuit. Practice care when posting, or hold off on sharing information. With discipline and an experienced lawyer on your side, your lawsuit may result in your favor.