Will Courts Force Accident Victims To Allow Access To Facebook?

Patterson v Turner Construction

Facebook has been widely used by people worldwide. According to Facebook statistics, there are more than 800 million active users of this social networking site and more than 50% of these users log on in any given day. More than 350 million users access Facebook through their mobile phones. Facebook is influential and useful in connecting with friends and other people

Facebook has become a big issue in auto accident and all personal injury cases. On October 27, 2011, a decision was handed down by New York Appellate Court on Russell Patterson v Turner Construction Company, et al.  The court held that a defendant in a personal injury case does not have an unfettered right to access the plaintiff’s Facebook account. The defendant can only discover that which is “relevant, in that it contradicts or conflicts with plaintiff’s alleged restrictions, disabilities, and losses, and other claims.” The appellate court reversed a trial court order which “granted defendants’ motion to compel an authorization for all of plaintiff’s Facebook records compiled after the incident alleged in the complaint, including any records previously deleted or archived"

As a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney, I am also a user of Facebook and I find it useful in checking on defendants in cases I am involved in. It is also an outlet to share relevant information and blog posts visible to everyone interested. In personal injury cases, I have advised Kentucky accident victims to avoid posting, discussing or commenting about anything regarding the accident. Any posts or updates may be useful to insurance company to deny any accident claim

As Facebook becomes intensely widely utilized, let us all remember that people needs to be extra careful in posting in this site. Some posts may have a negative impact on civil litigation and it may affect or damage your personal life. When posting on Facebook I suggest not posting anything you would not want to read in the newspaper.  This will help you get the nest result possible in your Kentucky auto accident case. 

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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