Recent Gwinnett County Car Accident Verdict Exposes Risk of Posting on Social Media Sites
A recent Gwinnett County lawsuit reported in the Daily Report provides a reminder of the dangers of using social media sites when you are involved in personal injury litigation. The plaintiff was injured when she was the passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend. As the vehicle was proceeding straight through an intersection, a commercial van for a refrigeration company traveling in the opposite direction made a left turn directly in the path of the vehicle in which the plaintiff was a passenger. The driver of the van was cited for failure to yield according to the Daily Report summary of the case.
Unfortunately, the injury victim continued to post freely on Twitter, which according to statements by her attorney reported in the case summary came back to haunt her. At the site of the collision, the injured woman was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center where she received medical treatment for a broken arm, concussion and a laceration to her forehead. Her broken arm was serious enough that a plate had to be attached with screws to treat the injury.
In addition to liability for the failure to yield by the driver, the woman also alleged the company that hired him was negligent in hiring him and entrusting him with driving the vehicle because he had received five recent speeding tickets and two prior DUIs, according to the Daily Report. Although the attorney for the woman injured in the collision with the work truck requested $1.1 to $1.3 million in damages, the jury returned a verdict for only $142,000 against the driver and his employer.
The defense attorneys in the case offered the woman’s Twitter posts as evidence and suggested they indicated she was fully recovered and living a full and complete life. The Daily Report indicated that her attorneys believe the jury relied on these Twitter posts when determining the extent of her damages.
Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates encourage those who are involved in personal injury claims to avoid social media sites like Twitter and Facebook while their case is pending. Insurance companies and their investigators may review social media pages to uncover evidence in the form of statements, photos or videos that may be used in personal injury cases. While some people presume that they are safe because potentially embarrassing or compromising information is in a password protected area of the site or only available to “friends” on Facebook, a judge may order that the defendant be given access to this information. The problem is that even if you are badly injured, what may seem like innocent comments and photos to you, can be misinterpreted and/or construed in a way that can be used against you. If you do not want to put your social media sites on hold during your personal injury case, you should discuss the risks with your Atlanta personal injury attorney.
If you have been injured in an accident and would like to know your legal rights, including questions you may have about the ability of insurance companies to obtain and use information from your social media sites, our Georgia personal injury accident attorneys offer a free consultation where we can explain the potential risks. Our Atlanta traffic accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
Source: Daily Report