New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Stop using Social Media when You have Filed a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 in Personal Injury

You have suffered significant injuries because of somebody else’s carelessness, and you have decided to submit a personal injury lawsuit. During the course of your lawsuit, your lawyer strongly advises you to stop posting pictures and comments via social media. For example, do not post pictures of yourself and do not explain what is going on with you medically and what did happen to you in relation to this incident.

However, you go ahead and ignore your lawyer’s warning, thinking that there is no way anybody can hack into your social media accounts or that anyone pertinent to your case will be able to read or see what you are saying or posting, respectively.

The Defense will do everything to Access Information about You

Social media is a double edged sword that needs to be used with utmost caution

Social media is a double edged sword that needs to be used with the utmost caution.

Well, you are very wrong to assume this. One of the first things the defense is going to do is scour your social media accounts. The defense will in fact ask whether you have social media accounts, and then ask for access or just look you up using your name. Whether you have to give actually the defense the passwords of your social media accounts is still in dispute, as some courts you have to, while others say you do not. However, the point is that the defense will invariably find what you have posted via your social media accounts.

Even if they do not, why risk giving them more ammunition than they already have?

They defense is going to hire investigators, who will go online and scour to find things about you, the pictures you have posted, and the comments you have posted. Why do they do this? They want to find out things about:

  1. Your injuries
  2. What you have been doing physically
  3. Whether you have mentioned anything about the accident or how you suffered your injuries

The defense will gather all this information to use it against you. They are not going to tell you about it, until you get to your deposition, which is pretrial testimony under oath. Deposition is the same thing as if you are testifying at trial, since whatever you say at deposition can be used as evidence during the trial. Therefore, it is pivotal to stop posting on social media after you have filed a personal injury case.

Your Credibility is on the Line

The defense will bombard you with the information they have collected on you, and they are going to force you into submission if you have been trying to deceive their client and the court. They are going to ask you questions about whether you are able to do certain activities, such as, are you able to go mountain hiking or cycling, or are you able to change the tire of your car. When you say no that you cannot perform these activities, the defense will present the photos that you have posted on your social media accounts, where you are seen accomplishing these activities.

The defense will use these photos to contradict your testimony, and they are not going to tell you about these photos until they have locked you into your testimony. When they ask you to explain these photos showing contradictory behavior, you will wish you are somewhere else.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Therefore, at the very beginning of your case, your attorney in New York is going to strongly advise you to stop posting damaging items or anything for that matter via your social media accounts. Under no circumstance do you post anything on social media websites about your injuries, about your case, about the accident, or about how you are feeling. Even though the opposition suspects you are injured and have a valid case, if you post pictures of you having a wonderful time with your friends for example, your claims are not going to resurrect that much sympathy from the court.

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