Social media is becoming a new weapon for desperate defendants to pull up in personal injury cases. The trick with social media is that it is public record. If someone looks you upon on a website that you have created a public profile on, there is no reason why you should expect the court to suppress that evidence.
The other trick of social media is that it can be very misleading. The users tend to commercialize themselves and their lifestyles in social media to highlight the joys of life and to share their special moments with friends and family. Yet, in many cases, the so-called "friends" are distant online associations with whom they have no real-life connections.
All the things that you post of a positive nature during your recovery from an accident may be looked upon as evidence of how fantastic your life really is. This is weighty evidence against mere statements that you are suffering and socially isolated. Even though digital posts are more entertainment and wishful thinking than real evidence of a wonderful life, this creates enough juror confusion to diminish awards in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you claim that you are suffering excruciating pain and as a result, you’re unable to dance, don't post pictures of yourself smiling in a pose that others may think you are happy and dancing. If you are claiming that you are unable to enjoy all the pleasures of life because your mobility is limited, common sense should tell you not to post photos of your vacation trip to the base of Mount Everest. Yet, even subtle bits of evidence such as smiling selfies with a friend can be used to undermine your claims.
How to Prevent Social Media Defenses
When it comes to social media, you may not have any friends left in the real world after losing a job and suffering an accident. You may find it to be a crutch for your social existence. In any case, do not add any new friends after the injury and make sure that your social media is set to private.
In addition, you should refrain from taking photos and attending public events altogether. Although this may seem like milking the injury, what you are really doing is defending yourself against the vacuum analysis. A vacuum analysis occurs when fragments of evidence are presented as the whole sum of the picture and jurors are misled by the salacious content.
Although you may have your good days when you are smiling and trying your best to get up and around, the jury may not believe that you are suffering so badly if that is all that they see. For this reason, as a safeguard, you should videotape as much of the bad times as you can bear. While this may seem inconvenient and like you are harboring on negativity, this can equally be used to compel jurors that you really are suffering if the courts are now allowing some isolated social media posts to be used to the contrary.
Of course, when the evidence is in your favor, jurors may think that the evidence is fabricated. Yet, a serious documentary by a friend who could testify and document your ordeals may be enough to win strong sympathy with a jury. So, while the architectural landscape of digital evidence may seem ominous, it can also work in your favor if you have serious injuries and experience suffering that would not be easy to document for a case otherwise.
When you are going through the collateral damage phase of a personal injury claim in a phase when pain and suffering and quality of life loss damages are at stake, you need an experienced Germantown personal injury attorney. Let Snider & Horner protect you from being ridiculed as a charlatan by the use of fragmented evidence. Germantown personal injury attorney Kevin Snider of Snider & Horner wants to see your life restored back to how it was before the accident.
Call today for a free evaluation of your case. We can help you avoid the pitfalls that less experienced attorneys are facing with the new digital Discovery and evidence rules. We understand that a lot is at stake and how to preserve the integrity of your claims for the full compensation that you deserve.