Social Media Posts Can Hurt Your Case
The information posted by you on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap Chat could hurt your personal injury claim and is more frequently becoming part of defense attorney discovery.
Some may think that if you are careful enough with your privacy settings, your information is safe. The truth is, once you post any information to the internet, nothing is truly private. When you sign up for a site like this, you are in essence authorizing the sharing of your information with the world. Anyone on your contact list can take your information and disseminate it in any way they wish. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap Chat warn that regardless of privacy settings, you are posting information at your own risk.
Defense attorneys are digging to see if they can find anything incriminating and social networking sites are an easy target. Whether images or text updates, anything they can get their hands on to hurt your credibility in front of a jury will be used.
The point stands that if you are claiming to be injured; your social networking site should reflect this. Anything posted that can be used or distorted for use against you is a direct liability to your case.
A case that illustrates the way social networking posts can be used by law is Romano vs. Steelcase Inc. According to motions filed in the Suffolk County, New York case, Kathleen Romano’s Facebook and MySpace profiles included pictures that showed the plaintiff, who was claiming to have sustained neck and back injuries due to a fall from her office chair at Steelcase, enjoying herself with trips to different places and taking part in activities that should have been impossible due to her injuries. The defense subpoenaed Facebook and MySpace for full access to her profiles, including deleted content. Facebook refused, citing the Stored Communications Act. Romano refused to consent access, and the matter went before the court. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of Steelcase and granted access to Romano’s online profiles, as the court felt that some of the postings that were visible contradicted her claims of injury and especially, her claim to loss of enjoyment of life.
This is just one example of social media profiles hurting someone’s personal injury case.
Take caution next time you broadcast anything through social media. You never know who is sharing your information and if your safety and the safety of your family is in jeopardy. Your posts are open to interpretation and your case could essentially be hurt due to information you have posted.