Can your social media be used against you in a court in New York?
Social media information is considered discoverable in New York.
Many parties involved in a personal injury case or a medical malpractice case may hire a firm to sift through relevant social media data to use in their lawsuit.
How can social media data such as Twitter texts, Facebook posts and images, or Instagram snaps help in a court case? In the case of an auto accident, for example, a defendant who is being sued for causing the plaintiff injuries may find on the plaintiff's Facebook page photo evidence that the injuries were false or exaggerated. This could sway the personal injury lawsuit in their favor.
Social media can be used against parties in a lawsuit in a variety of ways. Social media profiles could show that the other parties have a proclivity for exaggeration or lying. This type of evidence could be very damaging in a lawsuit.
Most people do not pay close attention to the privacy settings on their social media accounts. This makes their data easily accessible and any attorney that can use it to help their client's case will most likely take advantage of this opportunity.
Paying attention to privacy settings may help parties avoid this, but it is not a fool-proof method. Social media posts an be easily shared by friends and family. If the content is not deleted, it may still be public available.
Although, there isn't a high demand for this type of sleuthing, yet, it's a growing interest. It may be particularly helpful to insurance companies looking to fight claims.
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