Today, around seventy percent of the United States population uses some kind of social media website to connect with their friends and share updates about their lives. Consequently, users have the ability to relay vast amounts of information about themselves to others. Experts advise social media users to exercise extreme caution, especially when they are currently involved in the legal process, including personal injury cases. For more information on why you should avoid social media during your personal injury case, please continue reading, then contact one of our experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers today. Some reasons you should avoid social media during your New Jersey personal injury case include:
Your content may contradict your testimony
You should expect that the defendant can and will use everything at their disposal to discredit your case. Without realizing it, your posts may damage your claim. For instance, if you claim that you have a broken arm, but you post on social media that you are going bowling, the defendant will challenge your injuries. When you make a personal injury claim, you must always be completely honest about your injuries and losses.
Your check-ins betray you
Check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare and other sites can show that you are participating in activities that contradict the injuries you are claiming. For instance, you should not check in at your weekly yoga class if you are claiming you have limited mobility. Furthermore, location posts can count as evidence against you.
Damaging comments from family and friends
Even the content that witnesses post on social media can hurt your case. They might contradict your claims about your injuries, or make statements about how much money you want to receive for your losses. Besides painting you in a bad light, these things can damage your evidence in the case.
Social media posts are admissible in court
While social media posts are not automatically admissible in court, the court may render them admissible if it determines the posts follow the New Jersey Rules of Evidence. Typically, New Jersey courts categorize out-of-court statements as inadmissible hearsay. However, they routinely make exceptions for the statements of a party. When you are bringing an injury claim, your statements to others outside of court are admissible against you because you are a party to the case. In that scenario, the court will count your social media posts as statements. They may also admit statements by family and friends on social media if they contradict the same person’s testimony in court.
Complete privacy is a myth
Even if you make your account private, the defendant may ask your friends to give them the information voluntarily or they may take advantage of New Jersey’s Discovery Rules. With a court order, the defendant may have access to your entire social media history.
If this seems daunting, speak with a member of our firm as soon as possible.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury, contact Rubenstein, Berliner & Shinrod, LLC today.