When you are injured at work, or the victim of someone else’s negligence, something you might not think about is how your Facebook or other social media can affect your rights to recover for your injuries. Many people think that what they post on social media is only to be seen by their friends. However, when you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation case, the Judge in Oklahoma can require that all of your posts be made available to the insurance company’s attorneys!
This is exactly what happened to a man who filed a lawsuit in Washington County, Oklahoma. Despite his attorney objecting to providing Facebook information, the Judge entered an order for the man to log into his Facebook account and download ALL his posts, photos and videos, comments and events and then provide the downloaded file to the attorneys for the person that had injured him. Notice the order said ALL, not just posts on the date of the accident or posts after the accident. The order did not limit the information to items relevant to the person’s injuries, but ALL his posts, photos and videos, comments and events. Hard to believe that after being the victim of an injury, then having to file a court case to ask to be compensated for the damages received, that the victim now has to do what to most people would see as an invasion of their privacy by providing all posts, whether they have anything at all to do with the court case, to the person who was negligent in the first place.
Remember if you are the victim of someone’s negligence, or suffer an injury at work, the attorney for the other side may be reading everything you post. Be very deliberate when you do post to only say what you would say if you were testifying in court before a Judge, because your post may end up being shown to the Judge or jury. Not sure what a Judge or jury would think about your post? Ask your attorney BEFORE posting. When in doubt, don’t post or comment on social media.
If after reading this article you think you need to delete some things on your social media, don’t do anything until you talk to your lawyer. You will want to ask the attorney about “spoliation of evidence” and that is the subject of another post, but let’s just say it is BAD and can involve SANCTIONS along with other undesirable consequences.