Information from Facebook and other social media sites is becoming increasingly popular to use in the "discovery" aspect of personal injury litigation. In recent years, several cases involving personal injury claims and social media have set the precedent for the admittance of social media into the courtroom for years to come. One of these cases involved an employee of Weis Supermarkets suing the company because he claimed to have suffered an injury to his knee while working. Although he did require surgery to correct his knee, he claimed that he could not participate in physical activity and never wore shorts because he was embarrassed by his surgical scar. Discovery material provided from Facebook resulted in pictures of the employee engaging in intense physical activity, as well as wearing shorts that plainly showed his surgical scar. Because the bulk of his case rested upon his inability to take part in the physical activities he had previously enjoyed, his case did not have much merit once the Facebook pictures were admitted as evidence.
This is just one of may cases in which social media had a negative impact on a client's personal injury claim. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you should be careful about what you choose to post on social media sites. Even if you are significantly injured, defense attorneys might try to twist what you write or update to compile a case against you. One picture, taken out of context, may cost you a significant amount of money in a personal injury case.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on his firm, please click here.