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Social Media Can be Detrimental to a Lawsuit


January 09, 2019

A recent article on the Forbes website highlights the risks associated with social media accounts when someone is party to a lawsuit. Claimants need to be aware of how their online presence can affect their potential case outcomes. 

Most people know that the information they post online can be viewed by friends and followers, but it is important to remember that nearly all of that information can also be accessed by investigators for use in court. For example, in a recent court case in Pennsylvania, titled Largent v. Reed, the plaintiff alleged an accident caused her severe and lasting injuries. However, the plaintiff’s Facebook photos told a different story. 

With the court’s permission, the defense presented as evidence photos from the plaintiff’s social media, depicting her enjoying normal physical activities and even going to the gym. The court then ordered discovery of all the plaintiff’s Facebook information, requiring her to hand over her username and password to the defense.  

Claimants should know that everything they say and post online has the potential to become discoverable, and possibly admissible evidence - even private messaging. Just like text messages and emails, messages and chat conversations on social media can be obtained and admitted into evidence. Password protection and encryption will not prevent the defense from gaining social media information with a court order. 

All of this said, it is also important for claimants to preserve their social media information in anticipation of lawsuits, and particularly after the onset of lawsuits. Deletion of any posts or photos can be interpreted as destruction of evidence and can result in a negative inference from the court. To avoid a battle over social media, plaintiffs should be thoughtful about everything they post and ask their attorneys if they have any questions about specific content or subject matters. 

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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughoutthe Southeast for over 35 years.

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 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 chat. 

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2018/12/30/heres-how-social-media-can-be-used-against-you-in-court/#6e50fbcb6344

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.