The Relevancy of Social Media to Personal Injury Cases
II. How Can Social Media Affect Personal Injury Cases?
III. Limiting the Risks of Social Media in a Personal Injury Case
IV. How Can Social Media Affect your Personal Injury Case in Nevada and California
The world has truly changed ever since the evolution of technology, giving rise to the internet. To be more specific, social media is a powerful tool that allows people to reach the world at large. It gives way to communication, entertainment, and news sharing as well.
Unfortunately, people's use of social media platforms doesn't always lead to pleasant outcomes. Many would even consider social media as a tool that can harm people and situations, say a court case.
With that said, here is an in-depth look at how using social media can affect your personal injury case.
When it comes to personal injury claims, plenty of people tend to either be for or against the plaintiff. It's worth noting that social media practically spreads this point of view instantly to the rest of the world.
Therefore, social media can affect your case because opposing parties may believe that the plaintiff does not deserve a lawyer. Moreover, the opposing party may even go as far as to suggest that the defendant is innocent.
In fact, there are a lot of stories of people stating that they will help the defendant pay for their lawyer. Some may say that they will ensure that the plaintiff will receive a hefty amount of money when the trial is over.
These are only some of the many reasons your personal injury lawyer may request you to leave social media temporarily, at least throughout your trial.
Social media may also affect personal injury cases because it allows people to share personal details about the case, the plaintiff, and the defendant.
For example, the media can easily dig up details about the plaintiff's past, such as drinking episodes, drug use, participation in dangerous activities, and the like.
Moreover, social media can reveal details about the defendant as well. People may comment on the defendant's lifestyle and state that they are harmless.
They will also comment on the defendant's past, especially regarding criminal offenses.
Social media can influence the court because people may share opposing opinions on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This can cause a conflict between the parties and may lead to delays in the proceedings.
For example, the opposing party may share their point of view on social media, eventually leading to a heated discussion. The court may become concerned about the case and delay the trial for a couple of weeks to sort out the mess.
In addition, social media can also have an adverse effect on the witnesses. This is because people may freely express their opinions about the case on social media.
As a result, the witnesses will feel pressured to support the party that shares their view. The opposing party may even contact the witness, pressuring them to say the opposite in court.
Social media may become a source of evidence for several reasons. For one, people may share the events leading to the case with their social media friends.
Moreover, people may upload photos and videos related to the plaintiff and the defendant.
The opposing party may even use social media as a means to discredit the plaintiff's claims.
For example, the opposing party may say that the plaintiff is not really hurt. There are cases when people may take photos of the plaintiff in other activities, claiming that they’re actually okay.
If you're one of the defendants, you may feel that social media is a great tool to track your friends and family. With it, you can keep an eye on their activities and even see what they're up to that they might not share with you.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff may use social media to track and spy on the defendant. Plaintiffs can gather information about the defendant's family and friends.
The plaintiff can even gather information about someone who is testifying for the defendant.
This information can function as a counterattack against the defendant since it may reveal how the said person isn’t telling the truth to the court.
Every party involved in a personal injury case dreads the jury. Unfortunately, social media can also affect jury deliberations.
For example, post-verdict comments can sway the jury in a good or bad way.
It can also harm personal injury cases because it can influence the jury before they have time to think about the case.
Lastly, social media may have a negative impact on the plaintiff's case because of public opinion.
People may have their own set of standards, and when a personal injury case arises, they may use the case to see if the plaintiff meets their standards.
For instance, if the plaintiff is a celebrity involved in a lawsuit, people may use the case to see if the celebrity deserves their status.
The general public may also use the case to see if the plaintiff is a good person or not.
Suppose you find yourself involved in a personal injury case. In that case, your personal injury lawyer may want to limit the risks that social media can bring by asking you to stay away from the internet for now. They may even request you to turn over your accounts for supervision in some cases.
Other than that, your personal injury lawyer may also advise you to decline any request for interviews.
This is because there's a high risk that you may say the wrong thing that can have an adverse effect on your case.
Just be sure to heed your lawyer's advice. In the end, you should keep in mind that it's not just your life that's at stake. Your social media presence can hurt your case.
Nevada has specific laws that govern the use of social media in personal injury cases. For instance, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §205.410 makes it illegal to use electronic communication to intentionally harass or harm another person. This includes posting false or misleading information on social media that can damage a person's reputation or personal injury case.
Example 1: Las Vegas car accident
Imagine a case where an individual claims a severe back injury due to a car accident. However, their social media profile shows them engaging in strenuous physical activities. The opposing party could use these posts to argue that the injury is not as serious as claimed, potentially undermining the case.
In California, laws surrounding social media and personal injury cases are also robust. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) protects the privacy of electronic communications, which includes social media posts. However, if the information is public or voluntarily shared, it may still be admissible as evidence.
Example 2: Los Angeles slip and fall
Consider a scenario in Los Angeles where an individual is pursuing a personal injury case after a slip and fall accident in a grocery store. The store's legal team discovers a post on the plaintiff's social media account where they admit to feeling "clumsy" that day. This admission could be used to argue that the store was not entirely at fault for the accident.
Mendez and Sanchez Law is a lawfirm of personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
We are a winning team dedicated to providing the best possible representation to clients who were injured due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing.
We handle all kinds of personal injury cases. If you or a loved one was injured or hurt due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, contact us for a consultation for immediate legal advice.
Social media evidence can have a significant impact on personal injury cases, as it can provide key information and evidence that can be used to support or refute claims made by either party. Social media posts, messages, photos, and videos can all be used to help establish liability and damages in a personal injury case.
The advantages of using social media evidence in a personal injury case include the ability to establish liability and damages, as well as the potential to uncover fraudulent claims. However, the disadvantages include the risk of violating privacy laws, the potential for misinterpretation of evidence, and the possibility of damaging one's own case through careless or inappropriate social media activity.
Common types of social media evidence used in personal injury cases include posts related to the accident or injury, posts related to the plaintiff's physical or emotional state, and posts related to the defendant's liability or negligence. Additionally, photos and videos posted on social media can provide visual evidence that can be used to support or refute claims made in the case.
It is generally not advisable to delete social media accounts during a personal injury case, as this can be seen as an attempt to hide evidence or obstruct justice. However, it is important to be careful about what is posted on social media during this time, as anything posted can potentially be used as evidence in the case.
To protect privacy on social media during a personal injury case, it is important to review and adjust privacy settings to limit the amount of information that is publicly available. Additionally, it is important to avoid posting anything related to the case, as this can be used as evidence against you. It may also be advisable to temporarily suspend social media activity until the case is resolved.