4 Ways Social Media May Affect Your Personal Injury CaseRequest a Free Consultation
You might not think that your social media presence could have any impact on a personal injury case; however, the reality is that what you post on social media can be used as evidence, and it is important to be mindful of what you share online. Just ask our South Jersey injury lawyers!
1. Social Media Can Be Used Against You
One of the most significant ways that social media can be used against you in a case is that it can be used as evidence. Insurance companies and defense attorneys are increasingly using social media to gather evidence against plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
For example, let’s say that you were involved in a car accident and suffered a back injury. You file a personal injury claim, and your doctor recommends you avoid physical activity for several weeks while you recover. If you post pictures on social media of yourself playing sports or engaging in physical activities during this time, the defense can use these photos as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim them to be.
In another case, a woman in South Jersey filed a personal injury claim after slipping and falling at a grocery store. She claimed that she suffered a severe back injury that caused her to miss work and required extensive medical treatment. However, the defendant’s attorney was able to use the woman’s Facebook posts to show that she had been actively participating in a dance competition, which contradicted her claim of being unable to work or engage in physical activity due to her injury.
2. Social Media Can Be Used to Discredit Witnesses
In addition to using social media to gather evidence against the plaintiff, the defense can also use it to discredit witnesses. For instance, if you have witnesses who are willing to testify on your behalf, the defense may search their social media profiles in attempts to find posts or pictures that contradict their testimony.
Social media platforms can reveal connections between witnesses and other parties involved in the case. If a witness is found to have a relationship or connection with the defendant or any other relevant party, it could be used to discredit their testimony and challenge the reliability of a witness statement. This can be done by identifying inconsistencies in their media activity that contradict their testimony or show that they have a history of making false or exaggerated claims on social media.
3. Social Media Can Be Used To Monitor Your Behavior
Insurance companies and defense attorneys may monitor your social media profiles to see if you engage in activities that could contradict your claims of being injured. In another case in South Jersey, a man filed a personal injury claim after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He claimed the accident left him with a serious head injury that led him to experience memory loss, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Despite this, the defense was able to use the man’s Instagram posts that showed he had been participating in a trivia night at a local bar, which contradicted his claims of having difficulty concentrating.
4. Social Media Can Be Used To Establish Liability
Social media can be used to establish liability. In a situation where a defendant posts a picture or status update that indicates they were engaging in reckless behavior that led to their accident, this could be used as evidence of negligence, and thus, be used to lower a settlement.
Social media evidence must be obtained legally and ethically, and the authenticity of the evidence must be verified before it is used in a court of law. Additionally, witnesses have the right to privacy, and any attempts to use social media to discredit them should be carried out within the confines of the law.