Michigan City personal injury lawyer discusses a recent case in which a plaintiff's posting on Facebook cost millions of dollars.
Social media sites such as FACEBOOK and TWITTER have been getting a lot of play lately in car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, and medical malpractice cases. Over the last year or so, more and more insurance defense attorneys have been requesting information from my client's Facebook and Twitter Accounts.
The Problem With Social Media
The insurance defense attorneys are hoping to find posts and pictures that will contradict the personal injury client's testimony regarding damages. For instance, if the client testified that she could no longer bowl on her league because of a lower back injury caused in a Valparaiso car accident and one of her friends tag her in a picture at the bowling alley, whether she is bowling or not, the defense attorney will show that picture to the jury and insinuate that the client was not telling the truth.
The Daily Progress recently reported a case out of Virginia where the judge cut millions of dollars off of a verdict partly because of the fact that the plaintiff took down his Facebook page.
In his order, the trial court judge found the following:
- Plaintiff engaged in misconduct during the case when deactivated his Facebook account and responded to a discovery request that he did not have a Facebook account.
- Both the plaintiff and his attorney must be held accountable for withholding Facebook photos that could have been used as evidence at trial.
- Both plaintiff and his attorney were responsible because the attorney told his client to delete the pictures.
This report reiterates the fact that if a person is making a claim for personal injuries related to an accident that their life becomes an open book. See my prior post discussing social media recommendations for accident victims.
Indiana Accident Law Is Complex
Part of a Northwest Indiana personal injury lawyer's duty is to counsel clients regarding choices they make before and after the litigation process. No attorney should ever tell a client to hide or destroy evidence. Lying and deceit will always cost people in the end. If you have any questions about a car accident claim in Valparaiso or anywhere else in Northwest Indiana, give our office a call at (219) 690-8997 or if you would like more information about filing a personal injury claim, you can request a free copy of my book: A Guide to Indiana Car Accident Claims.