Losing a loved one due to the negligent actions of someone else can be difficult to deal with on an emotional level. A loved one's premature death can also leave you with a significant amount of financial hardship. If you are thinking of pursuing damages through a wrongful death case to help offset your financial burden, it's important that you take the time to recognize how social media can negatively affect your case.
Here are two things to keep in mind when posting to social media while pursuing a wrongful death case in the future.
1. Social media posts are discoverable.
In order to be granted financial compensation for the death of your loved one, you will have to prove to the court that you are suffering from some type of hardship. The hardship you endure can be physical, emotional, and/or financial, but you must be able to provide evidence that your hardship is significantly impacting your life.
The opposing counsel will have the opportunity to gather evidence to try and refute your claim. Any posts that you make to social media accounts are considered discoverable, which means they can be used by opposing counsel to show you aren't suffering as much as you claim to be. Photographs of you taking your children to play at the park or having dinner out with friends from your workplace can be twisted and and used against you.
Be sure to consult with your attorney before posting anything to your social media accounts while your wrongful death case is open.
2. Social media posts could limit your settlement amount.
Many insurance companies that are involved in wrongful death claims try to settle these cases before they go to court. Settlements are often more affordable than litigation, so you shouldn't be surprised if you are suing an insurance agency and they offer you a settlement.
It's important to recognize that the insurance company's attorneys will probably scour your social media accounts for any information that can be used to limit your settlement amount. If you refrain from posting to your accounts until your settlement has been finalized, you will avoid having any information you share with your friends and followers misconstrued.
Consult with your attorney if you feel that information on your social media accounts is being unfairly utilized to limit your wrongful death settlement amount.
For many people, posting photos and status updates on social media accounts is a daily occurrence. Be sure that you aren't letting your social media activity negatively affect the outcome of a future wrongful death case. For more information, contact local professionals like Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis.