As always, it is important to be careful what you post on your social media account. This is even more important when you are involved in a lawsuit. One New York based lawsuit is currently making news in the legal world for a social media matter regarding to a car accident. According to the background of the claim, a woman alleged that she suffered injuries from a car accident that caused her a significant loss of enjoyment of life. However, her Instagram was reviewed during the legal proceedings, and included post-accident pictures of the woman participating in strenuous outdoor activities and enjoying a vacation. It may be likely that these pictures may have a negative impact towards the woman's claim.
Ever wonder how different employers regulate the use of social media? The Huffington Post released an interesting article that, although a few years old, covered some interesting trends that arose in social media use in the office. Some of the more interesting points include the following:
Sometimes, what you post on social media can really influence the validity of your legal claim. Recently, a Pennsylvania woman discovered this fact when she went to pursue a lawsuit against doctors whom she felt misdiagnosed her. According to the report, published by McCall.com, the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled that the woman failed to sue doctors within the two-year statute of limitations for such cases. The woman's original argument was that physicians misdiagnosed her Lyme disease as multiple sclerosis.
In recent years, Facebook and other social media sites are changing the ways that laws are interpreted and executed in terms of evidence and discovery. Information from Facebook and other social media sites is becoming increasingly popular to use in the "discovery" aspect of personal injury litigation. In recent years, several cases involving personal injury claims and social media have set the precedent for the admittance of social media into the courtroom for years to come.
Once again, the National Public Radio is weighing in on a relevant topic to today's blog topic. Social media and its use for legal claims has been an area of hot debate in recent years. Can private social media posts be used as courtroom evidence? How do you control jurors and judges who may tweet or Facebook post about a current case? Interestingly, some lawyers are also attempting to use social media to reach large masses of people for class-action lawsuits. Read about this new phenomenon by clicking the link to the original NPR article, which can be found here.
Believe it or not, social media harassment is becoming a significant problem for elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to a local report from ProPublica (in partnership with NPR) there has been a significant amount of Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram photos and videos posted by nursing home employees in recent years. These photos and videos highlight residents in compromising positions, such as being naked and/or abused, covered in excrement, or deceased. As a result, federal health officials have stated that they plan to crack down on these employees. One such measure they recommend is having a clear policy for all workers that prohibit staff from taking potentially demeaning pictures of their residents. Additionally, they are urging state officials to quickly investigate claims, report offenders, and recommend disciplinary action.
If you're still driving while using your phone, you may want to think again! Pennsylvania law enforcement are noticing a significant increase in car accidents caused by incidences of distracted driving, such as texting and driving. Policemen are aware of this trend and are on the lookout to catch people who are driving unsafely. One such law enforcement officer that was interviewed in Erie, PA states that distracted driving is especially dangerous because it takes away from three separate aspects of driving--visual control, manual control, and mental focus. To add to the problem, PA law states that you can dial a phone number and use it for voice communication while driving in our state, which is really unsafe as well! Nationally, over 1.6 million accidents were caused by distracted driving last year. That number is simply outrageous and should not be a danger for traveling Americans on the road!