How social media is used as evidence in Texas dram shop cases:
Do not give the other side ammunition to use against you in your dram shop case. Be careful what you post on social media websites, because defense attorneys are likely watching. Due to the nearly ubiquitous nature of social media postings, it's no wonder that the attorneys who represent bars in dram shop lawsuits will scour the internet searching for information that they can use against the injured party.
As such, if you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver and are pursing a dram shop case against a bar, what you say on your Facebook page may come back to haunt you.
In this article, we'll look at the different ways social media can be used in a Texas dram shop case and how an experienced attorney navigates these pitfalls.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- Can posts I make on social media be used in a my dram shop case?
- Why can things I post on social media hurt my Texas dram shop case?
- How does social media get used in dram shop cases?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Your Dram Shop Case
If you are injured by a drunk driver and you are suing the drunk driver and the bar who served him, the defendants (both the drunk driver and the bar) will do everything they can to limit or eliminate your claim and/ or your damages. They will gather and use any information that they can learn, sometimes taking it out of context, to use against you.
For example, if you are suing a bar claiming you have sustained a major back injury, yet a recent Facebook or Google+ post shows that you were playing softball, the defendants would rightly use this post as evidence to contradict your claim. However, sometimes things that are posted on Facebook are only harmful when taken out of context. For example, if your Facebook page says "First day back at the softball fields," that does not necessarily mean that you were playing softball. If it was a picture posted, maybe the picture was taken months ago, but only recently uploaded. Any posting taken out of context can potentially hurt your case.
Facebook is not the only social media outlet that can be taken out of context. Twitter has a 140 character maximum that often makes it difficult to tell the whole story. An example of a damaging tweet is: "had an accident, at the hospital and feeling fine." The 140 character limit that twitter has, doesn't leave you the ability to put it into context that you have a severely broken leg, and are feeling fine because of the heavy morphine drip the doctor put you on.
In a wrongful death case in which your wife is killed by a drunk driver, you can be made to look really bad if two weeks after her death, your relationship status on Facebook is "in a serious relationship" with a different woman. It doesn't change what happened, or what you lost, but it does certainly look like you are not a nice person, and that you didn't care much for your wife. These are some very obvious things the defendants can use against you.
There are also some ways that posts on Facebook and Twitter made before your accident can be you used to discredit your claim. Lets say you are claiming lost wages in your claim because you were out of work for a period of time after the accident or lost your job because you could not work. Now lets say that the day before the accident you posted, "I hate my boss, he is going to fire me or I am going to quit!"
This may just be venting frustration over a difficult period at work, but its hard to claim lost wages from a job it looks like you would not have had anyway. Again, maybe you've complained about your wife in a tweet. Even if it was a rare venting of frustration in what was an otherwise happy marriage, this can be taken out of context in a wrongful death case. A marriage that appears unhappy will not generate the sympathy with a jury that a happy loving one will and will likely affect the amount of damages the jury will award.
Give experienced Texas dram shop attorney Michael Grossman a call.
The drunk driving accident lawyers at Grossman Law Offices know how social media can affect your case, and how other pitfalls can affect your claim. We can help you navigate through these potential issues to a positive outcome.
When you need the assistance of experienced, intelligent attorneys, call us toll-free at (855) 326-0000.
Other articles about Texas dram shop cases that may be helpful:
- What Is a Recipient Under Texas Dram Shop Law?
- Important Texas Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
- How Do We Stop Bars From Destroying Evidence?