We have all been there. In the heat of an exhilarating or frustrating moment, we all want to vent. We move beyond the usual social media posts about vacations, dogs, and funny memes. For a brief moment, we feel heard and seen by others. We feel free to express our emotions and our friends and followers support us. We forget all about our posts after a week. However, the internet doesn’t forget.
Research in a 2021 study found that 72% of adults use social media. People from all walks of life, age, and professions post on at least one social media platform.
Both sides can collect discovery evidence if the claim cannot be settled outside of court. To avoid surprises at trial, the discovery process seeks to collect as much evidence as possible. The insurance company and other defendants named in your case can search your social media to try to weaken the claim.
Courts have ruled that social media posts may be used as discovery evidence. A judge might allow other litigants to look through your social media accounts if they can prove that your posts are harmful to your case. Your account may be set up so that only your family and friends can see your content. You can also share anything you want on your private page. However, opposing counsel can legally search for photos, videos, contradictory statements, and time stamps that could undermine the validity of your case. As you wait for a trial or a settlement offer, it is important to be careful about what you post on social media.
You could be held responsible for any social media posts made after you have filed a personal injury lawsuit. If your claim is about a severe, unhealed, physical injury that was caused by an accident and you post a photo showing yourself skydiving following the accident, it could be considered evidence of fraud. This could negatively impact your case if you make vague statements about how much money you expect to get in a verdict. Even if you win a settlement, you may find that the claim agreements you signed restrict how much information you can publicly reveal.
This article was written by Alla Tenina. Alla is a top slip and fall attorney Orange County CA, and the founder of Tenina Law. She has experience in bankruptcies, real estate planning, and complex tax matters. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.