How Facebook Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim
By Desiree Housek, Staff Writer
When you are involved in a personal injury claim, your social media accounts can actually hurt the validity of your claim. When information or photos about an injured person are posted onto a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another site, if can easily be taken out of context and send the wrong message in regards to the injuries in question.
With a large number of individuals choosing to document their lives through sites such as Facebook, it is not uncommon for defense lawyers to request photos and information from the plaintiff’s social media accounts.
In instances when an injured party posts honest pictures, it can still result in being considered misleading and giving off the wrong impression. Unfortunately, once a photo has been posted, the plaintiff’s lawyer is not permitted to tell the plaintiff to remove the photo or posts.
Based on the decision that was handed down in Garacci v Ross, the plaintiff’s counsel should be prepared to produce an affidavit clearly summarizing what each photo on the plaintiff’s Facebook profile is depicting, if the defense chooses to bring a motion for the production of social media evidence. To help determine relevance of posts, the affidavit can then be presented to the court, along with a sealed envelope containing the Facebook photos.
It is also important to remember that the plaintiff’s lawyers should never release the plaintiff’s full Facebook page, as the sheer existence of a social profile does not warrant access and all material is not necessarily relevant to litigation.
If you have been injured and intend on moving forward with a personal injury claim, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to not post any photos or posts that are in any way related to your injuries.