Pennsylvania Law on the Use of Social Media in Civil Litigation

Pennsylvania Law on the Use of Social Media in Civil Litigation

Social media has been a major form of communication that has boomed in popularity since its inception. According to Pew Research, in 2021 alone, approximately 70% of Americans have engaged on one or more social media platforms. As a result, social media has impacted many aspects of life including issues related to the law. Because of this, there has been much debate on personal privacy laws related to the use of data found on social media accounts during litigation.

Social media can often be a point of concern in many legal cases including personal injury claims. This is because social media has the potential to either be a detriment to individuals in these legal suits or an advantage. There is Pennsylvania case law on social media along with Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure which the court can use to interpret cases with respect to the use of social media posts during litigation. Typically, though, lawyers advise their clients that staying off social media while an active lawsuit is being litigated or a claim is being negotiated is a best practice.

If you suffered injuries and harm by the negligent actions of another party in Pennsylvania, you may be able to file a claim against them to obtain financial compensation for your losses. For help throughout the personal injury claims process in Pennsylvania, please connect with the Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson.

What to Do With Social Media Accounts When A Legal Suit Begins

Pennsylvania Law on the Use of Social Media in Civil LitigationWhen a legal claim turns into a lawsuit and goes to court, discovery will be one of the steps that take place during the process. Discovery is the portion of a lawsuit where information from both sides, the plaintiff and the defendant is exchanged and can be used in the trial. Discovery has the potential to uncover significant evidence that can be impactful during a trial. 

One of the first courses of action that you should take when you are beginning litigation is to lock your accounts and make them private. Doing so limits who can see what you post. If you do not have your posts blocked from the public eye and only allowed for selected followers, then you are putting anything you post at the risk of the other side finding and using that information. This is because public posts can be discoverable. And, you can be sure that the other side is going to scrutinize your social media accounts looking for anything that is public that can be detrimental to your suit and beneficial to theirs.

It is important to note that even though private information on social media may be protected by the court, it can also be requested by the opposing counsel. And in some cases, a court may grant such a request. So, while making your social media accounts private can be incredibly helpful to preserve your claim, not engaging in social media at all if you can during your suit is the most ideal course of action.

Speak to a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Today

The personal injury claims process can be complex and there are many considerations that must be accounted for to improve the chances of success. If you would like help with a civil matter like a personal injury suit, please call the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson to schedule a free consultation at (215) 731-9900. 

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