Experienced Rhode Island Injury Attorney Explains how Social Media can Affect your Case
The rules of profiles on social networking sites, like Facebook, being discoverable and used as evidence are continuing to evolve and become more settled. While there are limits to what a court would allow, it seems like the trend is to allow more of a person’s postings rather than less.
A good example can be found in the case EEOC v. Simply Storage Management, LLC., 270 F.R.D. 430 (S.D. Ind. 2010). In this case, part of the plaintiff’s claim was based on psychological or emotional injury. The defendant requested discovery on all of the posts on the plaintiff’s social networking profiles because all posts could be relevant to the plaintiff’s psychological or emotional state. The court found that not everything was relevant, however, and allowed only posts that relate to emotions or mental states, or events that would trigger emotions or mental states, as well as pictures that reveal emotions or mental states to be discovered.
So there are limits, but in this court most posts will probably be relevant. It’s difficult to think of what kind of Facebook post wouldn’t relate to an emotion or mental state. This same broad standard of relevant would probably apply when it comes to physical injury too.
This might suggest that insurance companies may request RI personal injury victims’ Facebook postings to see any posts showing the victim went to a bowling alley, for example, in order to show that a shoulder injury isn’t bad. But even if such a post is discovered, it’s not the end of the claim. The best RI personal injury lawyers know that people don’t always bowl when they go to a bowling alley, sometimes they’re only there to watch their friends bowl.
If you have been involved in an accident, contact our offices to see if you have a case. We are here to help you!