From the way people connect with one another to finding new products and staying updated on recent events, social media has impacted nearly every facet of daily life. Some of that has been for the better while other aspects seem to be for the worst.
There’s no denying that misinformation runs more rampant, for instance, just like there’s no denying the increased ability to spread awareness about prevalent issues. One less-thought-of impact is the law. Specifically, how social media affects lawsuits. Here’s what you need to know.
A Real Life Example
Social media and cars typically go together in the form of photos or videos, but this case deals with Lemon Law. If you’re unfamiliar with what Lemon Laws are, check out the website for Conn Law in San Francisco for a rundown.
In this instance, someone had purchased a Kia that ended up having a serious issue shifting gears. Being a major problem, they took it into a shop for repairs but no one could seem to fix the defect. So, they hired an attorney and filed a Lemon Law claim.
If the court acknowledged the claim, Kia would either have to replace the car with an identical one or refund the full purchase price of the vehicle plus legal fees. The case was so simple that it would have been an easy victory, but the owner of the car did something to ruin the entire claim.
He was a teenager, his parents had bought him the car, and he decided to have a little fun with it before the case went to court. He took it to a racetrack, videotaped the races, and posted the videos on Facebook. You can probably imagine the damage he did to the Kia since the gears wouldn’t shift properly.
With the video up for all the world to see, Kia’s defense team made quick work of blaming the teen. They used the video as evidence to show it was the teen’s fault, not theirs, that the car had issues. In the end, Kia won the case because a few social media posts.
The Moral of the Story
That’s just one real life example from Virginia that happens to deal with a Lemon Law case, but what you chose to share on social media holds the potential to impact just about any legal case you can think of. While cat memes don’t pose a threat, personal statements along with photos or videos could.
Prosecutors rely on digital evidence in harassment cases, custody battles will take photos showing the condition of your home or how you take care of your children into consideration, and DUI prosecutors have field days using photos of people drinking against them.
This isn’t meant to scare you, of course, just to ask you to think twice about what you share online. You never know what kind of lawsuit you might find yourself apart of in the future and what seemingly harmless posts and attorney might try to use against you.