Can Social Media Have An Effect On Your Personal Injury Case?

Posted on October 10th, 2017
By Steven Gursten

As social media becomes an increasingly larger part of our lives, we may want to consider how others interpret our social media posts. This is especially relevant if one is involved as a suspect in criminal or civil legal case. In particular, anyone going through a personal injury lawsuit should be aware that people are viewing what they post and taking it into consideration when looking at the whole picture in an ongoing court proceeding.

Social Media Posts Can Have Consequences

The legal consequences of posting on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are lost on some. However, posts have increasingly become exhibits of evidence that can be used in court cases. You can bet that attorneys on both sides of a suit are reviewing the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s social media channels with scrutiny – especially in personal injury cases.

During a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyer is seeking to recover damages because a client has been negatively impacted by an injury caused by someone else. Evidence to that cause may appear on the defendant’s social media pages. If pictures posted show the plaintiff moving around freely or living life without much burden, this could be used as evidence to contradict his/her case.

Also, any exaggeration or admonition that a plaintiff or defendant might make on social media can be used by lawyers to refute or solidify claims. Lawyers often interview friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers in personal injury lawsuits. Defense lawyers sometimes even hire private investigators to dig up proof that the plaintiff is lying. The goal is to catch any kind of behavior that contradicts the party’s claim and thus destroys their case.

Positive Posts can Contradict Claims of Emotional or Physical Suffering

Personal injury cases may involve physical disability and injury, or emotional suffering. These types of traumas can be refuted by a simple post or photo that shows claimants doing physically or emotionally well at a time when they shouldn’t be, according to their claims.

The situation becomes tricky when we consider that many people only post social media status that paint them in the light of being happy and healthy. If a plaintiff’s social media posts paint a picture of being completely well, a judge or jury might buy that as truth and not be inclined to rule in favor of the plaintiff.

This may seem unfair, but it’s something that actually happens, and defense lawyers look to these kinds of “happy” posts all the time in order to dispel any claims of suffering.

Negative Social Media Posts Can Backfire

If you’re going through a personal injury case, it’s good practice to watch the content and tone of what you post on social media. Any kind of aggressive or angry behavior on social media is a bad idea while involved in a case, even if you think it is justifiable for a situation involving the criminal behavior of another.

Venting on social channels can portray you as “sue happy” or out to make a quick buck. Take care not to exaggerate claims or make it appear that you’re exploiting someone who cannot defend their actions in that same space. Defendant attorneys will often look for any bias or “sour grapes” attitudes against their clients.

If you think you have a personal injury case against someone who has caused you injury, it’s best to stay quiet about the situation on social media. Also, you should contact Taos Injury Lawyers right away to get advice on proceeding with your personal injury lawsuit.

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