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Social media’s effect on medical malpractice cases

Medical MalpracticeNews   November 2, 2017

Social media is currently producing an interesting effect on the world at large. Facebook has over 1.5 billion people while Twitter has 320 million users, according to data presented by Adweek.

While many people post about most aspects of their lives on social media, they should avoid it at all costs when in the middle of a medical malpractice case. A seemingly innocent piece of information can have a negative impact on the impending trial.

Lawyers can use anything as evidence

Anything you post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can come into play during the trial. For example, if you are claiming you were significantly injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence but there are pictures of you at the gym, then the doctor’s attorneys may use those photos as evidence you are not seriously hurt. You should also inform friends and family not to post photos of you during this time. They may inadvertently tag you in something that the attorneys could still use.

Deceitful ways for lawyers to acquire information

There is no guarantee that anything you post on the internet is private, and there are methods for viewing accounts that should not be visible to the general public. Additionally, you want to avoid accepting friend requests from people you do not know. This could be the other side’s legal team trying to access your social media profile.

After you hire a lawyer to handle your medical malpractice case, you do not want to send a friend request to your attorney. You want to maintain a professional relationship throughout the trial, so there is no need to use social media to communicate.

New form of tampering with evidence

Once the trial begins, you want to avoid deleting old photos or posts. The court could view this as destruction of evidence, which is illegal. You want the focus of the trial to remain on the doctor’s negligence, so do not give the opposing team ammunition to attack your character. Leave everything the way it is. It may be best to simply delete a profile temporarily until the trial is over.