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How the Internet Can Affect Your Maritime Injury Case



 

The internet can be both very helpful and very harmful to your offshore injury case. We regularly use the internet for research purposes, but unfortunately, your company will do the same, except they will be using it to research YOU. Facebook and other social media outlets and personal websites pose a unique problem to injured offshore workers because the information on these outlets can be easily accessed and used against you. Watch this video to learn the ways the internet can be used to ruin your Jones Act case.

0:07 Hello I’m maritime attorney Tim Young. Today I want to talk to you very briefly about the internet in regard to a maritime injury case and a Jones Act case.

How We Use the Internet in Our Cases

0:15 The internet is a wonderful resource that our office uses very often with our cases.

  • It allows us to, at the beginning of a case, determines the owner of a vessel, if we have the vessel name.
  • It allows us to determine the “agent for service” for companies when suits have to be filed against those companies.
  • It also allows us to determine where suits can be filed against a lot of companies.
  • We also do research on the internet about the number of rigs companies have. The types of rigs that companies have.

0:43 We use the internet a lot in order to help our clients. I want to discuss with you, though, the other side of the internet. And this is the sword that cuts both ways.

How the Internet Can Hurt Your Case

0:52 Unfortunately, the internet is used against our clients in a lot of cases under the Jones Act and under maritime law, and what I mean by that is typically everyone knows today about Facebook and how they have to be careful about what they post on Facebook. Well, I want to remind you that if you friend an old employee and then your case progresses, a lot of times that old employee can still get onto your Facebook page and see what you’re posting.

1:16 And we always tell our clients immediately to be very careful about what they post during their case on their Facebook page.

Starting an Online Business During Your Injury Case Isn’t a Good Idea

1:23 The other way the internet can hurt our client’s cases is if the clients start some sort of a small business trying to develop something after his injury, and in connection with doing that, they open up a website on the internet. A lot of times our clients in the past have posted websites for small businesses and they’ll make it sound as if the business is growing and it has a lot of opportunities, which is how a lot of websites sound for businesses.

1:49 Unfortunately, companies will go online and research that. They’ll actually print the pages from a business website and they’ll try to argue that our client is now a successful businessman and he’s making a lot of money after his injury. Well, what it really was was our client trying to make an effort to develop something that may or may not have ever gotten off the ground.

Participating in Social Groups Can be Problematic

2:10 Another way the internet can hurt our clients is with organizations or groups which they’re a member of. A lot times they’ll take photographs during say softball tournaments, say hunting clubs, ATV clubs. a lot of times our clients will stay engaged with those groups. They’ll go out and meet with them. They’ll be in the group photo. They may not actually be doing the hunting or the ATV riding anymore or the fishing rodeos or trips, but they want to be in the pictures.

2:41 Well, the problem is the internet will a lot of times post those pictures. And sure enough, we’ll end up hearing from the company lawyer that they have photographs of our clients at the fishing tournament or down at the hunting lodge camp and they want to all of a sudden say that our client is not injured anymore.

Be Cautious Using the Internet During Your Case

2:57 So, the purpose of this video is to remind you that the internet is wonderful. It’s going to help us probably win your case, get a high settlement. However, the internet can also hurt your case, and it’s not just Facebook and social media. It’s everything out on the internet. Once it gets out there, the companies have access to it. So you want to be very careful with what’s getting posted during your maritime case.

3:20 Call us if you have any questions about the internet and how it may affect your case or your rights, choices, options under maritime law.

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