Social Media Affects Another Personal Injury Verdict
We recently wrote a post cautioning plaintiffs in the use of social media after a car accident injury and now looking back at recent verdicts in Gwinnett County reveals yet another jury verdict affected by posts to a social media site by the plaintiff, this time Twitter. This case is yet another cautionary tale to plaintiffs and their lawyers about the use of social media after an accident. BEWARE. Someone is watching what you post.
The Gwinnett County State Court lawsuit involved a severe car accident involving an at-fault commercial vehicle. The plaintiff suffered a concussion and a large scar to her forehead among other severe injuries. At trial, the plaintiff apparently was arguing that her injuries had kept her from performing her job and that the scar was very embarrassing.
The plaintiff’s Twitter posts over the months and years since the accident and before trial arguably told a different story. Some of her posts included such things as having “an epic weekend” and “I’m starting to love my scar” to name just a few. According to the lawyers that tried the case, the posts seemed to show a plaintiff who was still enjoying her life to the fullest and that was not as concerned about her scar as she argued. Another post showed a picture of her carrying a handbag in her injured hand that she was claiming was so injured it hampered her ability to work.
In closing, plaintiff’s attorney asked for between $1.1 Million and $1.3 Million in damages, most of this amount being for pain and suffering damages. The Gwinnett County jury returned a verdict for only $142,000.00. Lawyers in the case believe the social media posts played a large role in the conservative jury’s decision to not award much to the plaintiff. The argument made that the plaintiff seemed happy in the posts and was able to carry on a good life probably kept the jury for being willing to hit the defendant for a large verdict.
If you have been in injured in a car accident or injured in any other incident because of the fault of another, remember this case and watch what you post on social media. The best option to avoid posting anything to any social media outlet until your case is resolved. Recently, our Lawrenceville personal injury attorneys resolved a case in which a Facebook post very well could have been damaging to the plaintiff’s negligence claim had the case go to trial. Avoid such mistakes at all costs.