Some Ohio residents are aware that loose lips can sink ships, particularly if someone is posting on social media. However, posting on social media can do more than burn social bridges and damage friendships.
It can sink a person’s car accident case. It may also get a person in legal trouble, including court-ordered sanctions or fines.
Social media posts can hurt case on the merits
Many people choose to post only happy and positive posts. While commendable perhaps from a morale perspective, such posts may contradict statements under oath about their chronic pain, reduction in quality of life and financial worries stemming from the injury. It may be wise to simply take a long break from social media posting, including private messages, potentially.
Posting photos can reveal things that may or may not be accurate depictions but can easily detract from an otherwise strong case. Also, even if the plaintiff is smartly not posting at all, his or her friends on Facebook may be posting photos of social or recreational events. Those photos could give the impression the plaintiff is enjoying activities that his case suggests he cannot or would not choose to do due to pain and limitations.
Old posts can have a negative effect
Indeed, even posts made before the car accident that has given rise to the plaintiff’s lawsuit could hurt that plaintiff. Old posts that include any of the medical misery posts some users put on social media, can cause damage to a plaintiff’s case. An old post about a chronic painful back from before the car accident may bely the causation factor needed in the current case to prove the accident caused the back pain.
Rules against talking down social media posts
And if that were not bad enough, court rules may prohibit a plaintiff and his or her lawyer from deleting posts previously posted. This means that if a plaintiff has already posted something the defense can twist in a manner not intended, he or she may be unable to remove it once the litigation has commenced. This is a possible issue based on rules against spoilation of evidence. Sanctions against a person who destroys evidence may issue, and the court may strike parts of his or her case from consideration as a result.