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The impact of social media on personal injury cases and how to use it wisely during litigation

Town Law Publishing March 1, 2023

In recent years, social media has increasingly become a source of evidence in personal injury cases. Attorneys are now regularly scouring social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to find posts, photos, and videos that could be used to strengthen their cases or undermine their opponents. Insurance companies and other parties to a lawsuit also use social media to gather information about the claimant.

One way social media can impact personal injury cases is by providing evidence of the plaintiff's injuries. Pictures and videos posted on social media can be used to demonstrate the extent of an injury, the severity of the pain, and the impact on the person's daily life. For example, if a plaintiff posts a photo of a cast on their arm or a video of them struggling to walk, this can be used as evidence to support their case.

However, social media can also have a negative impact on personal injury cases. Even innocent or seemingly harmless posts can be twisted and used by the opposing party to cast doubt on the plaintiff's injuries or undermine their case. For example, a photo of the plaintiff enjoying a day out with friends might be used to suggest that they are not as injured as they claim to be. Similarly, a post complaining about work might be used to argue that their injuries are not as disabling as they claim.

Social media can also impact the plaintiff's credibility. If the plaintiff's social media accounts are filled with posts that contradict their testimony or suggest that they are not as injured as they claim, this can damage their credibility in the eyes of a judge or jury. Even if the plaintiff's claims are genuine, the opposing party might use social media posts to make it appear as if they are exaggerating their injuries or lying about their condition.

Tips for Using Social Media Wisely During Litigation

Given the potential impact of social media on personal injury cases, it is crucial for plaintiffs to use it wisely during litigation. Here are some tips:

Be Mindful of Your Privacy Settings

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself on social media is to adjust your privacy settings. Ensure that only people you trust can see your posts, and avoid accepting friend requests from people you do not know. You should also review your privacy settings regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date and that you are comfortable with the information that is being shared.

Avoid Posting About Your Case

It might be tempting to share updates about your case or vent your frustrations online, but resist the urge. Anything you say could be used against you, and it is best to keep your thoughts and feelings about the case offline. This includes avoiding posts about the accident or injury, updates on the progress of the lawsuit, or anything else that could be construed as evidence.

Think Before You Post

Before you share anything online, ask yourself if it could be misinterpreted or used against you in court. If in doubt, refrain from posting. You should also be careful not to post anything that could be seen as misleading or inaccurate, as this can harm your credibility.

Monitor Your Accounts

Keep an eye on your social media accounts and ask friends and family members to let you know if they see anything that could be damaging to your case. You should also regularly review your accounts for anything that could be misinterpreted.

Social media can have a significant impact on personal injury cases, both positive and negative. It is crucial for plaintiffs to use social media wisely during litigation to protect themselves and their case. By being mindful of their privacy settings, refraining from posting about their case, thinking before posting, and monitoring their accounts, plaintiffs can help ensure that social media does not harm their case. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. At The Town Law LLC, our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to handle your case and protect your rights. Contact us at 215-307-5504 to speak with a personal injury attorney in PA today.