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Social Media is Not the Place to Ask Legal Advice

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s topic is focused on the alarming practice of some people posting personal information online to obtain advice from the online world.

Not sure when it became trendy to do it. But too many people nowadays are not only posting their medical history online for all to see, but they are also seeking legal and medical advice from online connections. And, they seem to expect that whatever direction is posted will help them overcome some problem they or a loved one is experiencing.

Most lawyers will never respond to these postings as they could be construed as offering legal advice.

Doctors and nurses are also instructed not to respond as their advice could create a conflict of interest or potentially set them up for a malpractice lawsuit.

And yet, people still post their medical and legal inquiries online for all to see, hoping someone will validate their feelings or ideas.

Examples of posts of this type can be found on prominent social sharing platforms. Are you tempted to post about medical issues, whether it be about kidney stones, gallbladder issues, mental breakdowns,  hospital emergency room visits, or the like? If so, you might be one of those people giving out “too much information” and need to put the brakes on your posting.

While we understand the frustration that can lead to posting personal information to get advice. The practice can be hazardous to your health, finances, and pretty much every other aspect of your life.

And, we should be thankful that doctors and lawyers do not respond to such posts. Put yourself in the position of a lawyer or doctor who might be considering responding. Would that lawyer or doctor be free to rely upon everything in a post being truthful? If not, any advice given could lead to more harm than good.

Three Things That YOU Should Remember About Social Media

  1. What you post about is not private.
  2. Anything you post is often still available to those who know where to look (even after you delete it and think it’s gone).
  3. Information you share can be used against you in legal matters.

But for those who like to share every detail of their lives on social media, here’s what we suggest…

  • Never post anything that you wouldn’t want a judge to see.
  • Never post anything that reveals private information about another person.
  • Never post anything that shows you acting irresponsibly.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.