A court in Bucks County, Pennsylvania was faced with this question when a defense attorney moved to have an automobile collision plaintiff accept a friend request on Facebook so the defense attorney could get full access to the injured party’s private postings and pictures.
This was not a minor accident, rather the plaintiff was hit in the face with an airbag and suffered lacerations to her lip and chin, with the impact tearing her lip and chin away from her face. These injuries required 95 stitches to her face and several facial surgeries.
Even though plaintiff’s attorney allowed the defense to come to the victim’s house to take pictures of the victim and provided other photographs showing the plaintiff’s injuries, the defense asserted that plaintiff’s private postings on Facebook were discoverable because the postings would provide “necessary and relevant information” related to plaintiff’s injuries.
Although there is some precedent for allowing defendants access to a plaintiff’s Facebook account, in this case, the court denied defendant’s request.
The lesson: Postings on the internet are not necessarily private. These days, one of the first things that insurance companies and defense lawyers do is check you out on Facebook and other social media sites. At Krause Law Firm, this is one of the many things we discuss with new clients. If you’re hurt or injured in an automobile accident or as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact us for an free in-depth consultation to discuss how we can help you maximize your recovery.