logo

The use of social media has exploded around the United States and the world in recent years. As recently as 2014, studies were showing that three-quarters of the adults who use the internet worldwide also made use of social media platforms, and the number has swelled since then. The fact is that it is often impossible to live without some kind of social media footprint in more populous areas, too, because even when you opt out of an account, friends and loved ones may share your pictures or information about you.

It’s probably not a big surprise, then, that the courts have begun to use social media in a variety of ways to gather evidence, and it shouldn’t be a big surprise when these techniques are applied just as much to civil cases as to criminal ones. If you are currently pursuing a personal injury case, that means that your social media postings might be relevant to your claims of emotional distress or lost income, among other things.

Is It Legal?

The short answer is, yes. Whatever you post on social media is considered to be stated in public or published, especially if it is publicly viewable. When you use privacy settings to have restricted conversations, or when you use messaging systems that do not involve widespread social interaction and sharing, this can change. For the most part, though, if you disclose it about yourself on an internet site, you should expect that it is going to be admissible in court, the same way that witness testimony or video about your statements and behavior is admissible.

The Effects on Damages

Generally speaking, unless you do something that drastically alters the facts of your case like admitting to being liable for the accident, your social media posts can not change whether or not the other party is liable for your basic injuries and medical expenses. When it comes to claims about being unable to work or emotional damages, though, social media can often play a fairly large role in the outcome. Your exploits on social media can undermine claims related to your emotional state even when those claims are valid if they are presented out of context and with a compelling explanation. That poses a problem for many potential plaintiffs.

Social Media Practices

Generally, if you are involved in pending legal matters your lawyer will advise you not to discuss them with anyone publicly until they are resolved. The same advice tends to be the best advice for social media. If you need to let people know basics about your condition as you recover, it is best to be factual and to keep your communications to private channels until you are through with any delicate negotiations or proceedings that can be affected by your social media postings. That way, it won’t be possible for people to misrepresent your online communications.

Personal Injury Associations

*Disclaimer: This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your case and results include that of independent associated counsel from CA. Nationwide law firm in association with local licensed attorneys. Pictures depicted are a dramatization only and may not be members of the firm or actual accident scenes. In the event of a loss, you may be obligated to pay the opposing parties fees and costs. We are not affiliated with any public agency. Nothing on this site, including the URL title, is to constitute an inference or implication that we are the “best” (or similar word) attorneys in comparison to other firms, but rather states our opinion. In the event that you fill out any forms or request a case evaluation, this does not guarantee that you: (a) do in fact have a case (b) that we will become your legal representation (c) does not guarantee a response from one of our attorneys (d) enter into any type of relationship with the firm. It is at our discretion to call you or take you on as a client. AA Accident Attorneys makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party web sites accessible by hyperlink from the site, or web sites linking to the site. This website, postings, articles, upkeep, and general online presence is controlled by a marketing team and is not necessarily the views, opinions, or writings of any Attorney(s) at AA Accident Attorneys.

By Paul Lee

© 2014. AA Accident Attorneys. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy

Back to top