Written by Mackenzie Saunders:
Picture this: you break your lower back in a car wreck and, as a result, you have limited movement and sensation below the waist. You cannot walk or stand on your own, but you are able to stand for a short amount of time with the help of a walker. You file a personal injury lawsuit, go to trial, and ask a judge and jury to grant you compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. To refute your claims, the opposing legal team shows the courtroom a picture that you posted on Facebook of you standing with a walker and smiling just a few weeks after your injury. The opposition states, “You claim you cannot stand, but you are standing in this picture. You claim that you experienced pain and suffering from your injuries, but you are smiling in this picture.”
Many people do not realize that their posts on social media can impact their personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, moments like the one described above happen all too often in personal injury cases. Many legal teams use a person’s social media posts against them in the courtroom. Because of this, it is vital to avoid posting anything on social media that may impact your case while your lawsuit is in progress. Read below to learn more about how social media can hurt your personal injury case, and what you can do to avoid these scenarios.
Many different types of social media posts can hurt your personal injury case. Any pictures of you smiling or being physically active after your injury can be used against you in the courtroom, even if the posts are used out of context. For example, if you post a picture of you at the gym in your wheelchair, the opposing side can use the picture to argue that you are still physically active after your injury, even if you were only at the gym for 10 minutes. If you post a picture of you smiling after your injury, the opposing side can use the picture to argue that you are not experiencing pain or suffering from your injuries, even if you were only smiling in the picture because your family member told a funny joke. Opposing legal teams will use any social media pictures that they can get their hands on, and they will take them out of context in order to undermine your case.
Pictures are not the only kind of social media post that can be used against you in the courtroom. Facebook statuses, tweets, or other word-based posts taken out of context can also hurt your personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you tweeted “Feeling great today!” just a few months after your injury, the opposing side can use that tweet to argue that you did not experience pain or suffering from your injuries. If you posted a status on Facebook about going to the beach with your family after your injury, the other side can use that status to argue that you are living a normal, unimpeded life post-injury. Word-based posts can harm your personal injury case when taken out of context by the other side in trial.
These are not the only kinds of posts that can hurt your personal injury case. “Checking in” to a gym on Facebook or posting a Youtube video of you dancing with your family are other examples of social media posts that can be used in the courtroom. No social media post is off-limits in the courtroom, so be careful about what you post on any public platform when your lawsuit is still in progress.
Any post on social media after your injury can be used against you in the courtroom. Many people believe that if their social media posts are set to “private,” then the opposing side has no way of using their social media posts against them in trial. However, changing your social media settings to “private” does not eliminate the possibility of your social media posts being used against you in court. Lawyers are experts at finding evidence for cases, and there are many ways to bypass privacy settings to find “private” social media posts. Therefore, setting your posts to “private” is not the solution. To avoid having your social media posts used against you in court, avoid posting on social media altogether related to your injury and until your lawsuit comes to an end. This may be difficult, but it will help your case immensely. Nothing is worse than spending years building a legal case, just for the case to be thrown out because of something you posted on social media.
Posting on social media after your injury can hurt your case in court. Many legal teams use a person’s social media posts against them in trial, even when the posts are taken out of context. To make sure your social media posts are not used against you in a court of law, avoid posting on social media about your injury until your lawsuit concludes.
The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm can help you win your personal injury case and receive the justice and compensation you deserve. We have vast experience representing people after catastrophic injuries, and we have won millions of dollars for our injured clients. If you have a personal injury case, contact us today at 1-877-SCI-FIRM or email@example.com to schedule a free legal consultation.