Can Social Media Be Used Against You in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in NY?

Millions of people use social media daily, posting about all kinds of things that happen to them, including accidents. If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, the opposing party might want to use your social media against you, but a lawyer can help you protect yourself.

Social media allows people to document various aspects of their lives online, and this information might come back to haunt you in a personal injury case. Perhaps a plaintiff is claiming serious injuries after a car accident, but they are posting photos of themselves after the accident, working out in the gym or partying on vacation, seemingly uninjured. The best way to prevent your social media from being used against you is to avoid posting altogether until the case is complete. If the opposing party demands access to your social media, you might have to give it to them according to the rules of discovery. However, your attorney can help you limit what the opposing party may see, as they can only have access to relevant evidence. If you are thinking about deleting your social media to protect yourself, do not do this. This might be perceived as destroying evidence, and you might land in big trouble.

Speak to our Westchester personal injury attorneys for a free case assessment when you call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.

How Might Your Social Media Be Used Against You in a NY Personal Injury Case?

People post photos, videos, and messages on social media every day. People tend to post more often when major life events happen, such as serious car accidents. They might post online simply to inform loved ones that an accident happened, but they are going to be okay. They might also take to social media to vent their frustrations about the accident. Be careful about what you post online, as the opposing party in a personal injury lawsuit might try to use it against you.

Your social media might come back to bite you if what you post online contradicts your legal claims. For example, a plaintiff might claim they are badly injured and cannot enjoy life the way they did before the accident. However, that same plaintiff might post photos or videos of themselves playing sports, working out in the gym, going to a party, or doing other things that contradict their claims. Opposing parties will jump on this information and try to use it against you. For many, this information is out of context and does not actually contradict their claims, but it might not seem that way to a jury.

Another possibility is that the information you post to your social media somehow indicates you might share fault for the crash. People sometimes post about accidents right after they happen and before they speak to an attorney. They might describe the accident in detail, perhaps simply to vent their frustration and anxiety about the whole thing. What they might not realize is that their story might cast them in a bad light, making them appear responsible for the crash.

Preventing Your Social Media From Being Used Against You in a NY Personal Injury Case

Since most of us probably have some form of social media, you should talk to your attorney about how to handle your social media after initiating a car accident lawsuit. First, you should set all of your social media to the highest privacy settings available. If any of your social media profiles are public, make them private right away. Only people you approve may view your private profiles. If your social media is public, nothing is stopping an opposing party from taking screenshots or otherwise taking information from your profiles.

Second, do not post anything after your accident. Even if you think certain pictures or videos are harmless, do not upload them. Lay low until your case is complete. If you must post something, run it by our New York personal injury lawyers first.

Third, do not communicate with anyone about the accident over social media, even in private messages. The information you disclose to others might be repeated, and you never know who will hear it.

What if the Opposing Party Wants Access to My Social Media in a Personal Injury Case in NY?

It is possible that when the accident occurred, all your social media was already completely private, and there is no way for the opposing party to access it without your permission. This does not mean that your social media cannot be used against you. If the opposing party believes that something on your social media is relevant to the case, they may demand access to it during the discovery phase of civil proceedings.

According to the rules of discovery, one party may request certain evidence and information from the other party if there is no other reasonable means of obtaining such information. This might include information that is otherwise private. In short, the opposing party can go to the court and argue that something on your social media is important to the case and they need to see it. If the court believes them, you might be ordered to give the opposing party access to your social media.

While the opposing party might have access to your social media, they might not necessarily be allowed to see everything. Social media can be quite vast, especially if you have had certain profiles for several years. We can request the opposing party to more narrowly tailor their request so only what is absolutely necessary is disclosed. Your lawyer can help you limit the opposing party’s access to things such as private messages on your social media that are unrelated to the case.

The opposing party’s request should also be reasonable. They cannot demand access to all your social media if they cannot show they have such a need. If we know that nothing on your social media is really important, we can push back against the other party’s demands.

Get Help From Our NY Personal Injury Attorneys

Speak to our Clarkstown, NT personal injury attorneys for a free case assessment when you call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.

Car Accident Lawyer Yonkers Personal Injury Lawyer Yonkers

Fill out and submit the form to request your free attorney consultation now.

Questions? Concerns? Just want to get information about your situation?

“Great experience after a terrible car accident.”

Westchester Injury Lawyers Yonkers Accident Lawyers
Yonkers Car Crash Lawyers Carlos,