We’ve come a long way in how we handle personal injury cases, with developments such as cloud software making it easier than ever to transfer important documents, and video surveillance streamlining the collection of physical evidence in certain accident cases.
Of course, just as technology can be a boon to claimants and personal injury lawyers, it also has its downsides. In this post, I’m going to look at two ways technology can actually damage a personal injury case and end on a more optimistic note by listing three ways technology can help.
Technology That Can Harm Your Case
1. Social media. There are a staggering 1.3 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and there’s a good chance you’re one of them. Unfortunately, your Facebook account may be a liability in your personal injury case. Even if you know you have a legitimate personal injury case, you can’t be sure that the defense attorney won’t search your Facebook account for evidence they can twist.
For example, if you injured your back, but post a picture of yourself dancing in your living room, the DA could point to that as evidence that you’re faking your injury, even if in reality you only briefly posed for a “dancing” picture to show you were keeping your spirits up. The best thing you can do in your personal injury case is disable your Facebook account and personal blog, if you have one. You should also be very careful not to post any information about your accident on any social media outlets.
2. Surveillance technology. Although it might sound extreme, some defendants who risk losing a lot of money to your lawsuit might hire a private investigator to search for evidence to use against you. In addition to trawling your social media pages, the investigator might use videos or photos in an attempt to show that your injury is not as serious as you claim.
This is important to keep in mind, because many accident victims have times when their pain is not as severe as others, and might take advantage of these “good” times to do things outside or in public that they might not be able to do on days with worse pain. While your case is ongoing, keep in mind that you may be under surveillance in public areas, so you need to think about the message your behavior will send.
Technology That Can Help Your Personal Injury Case
1. iPads. It’s becoming fairly common practice for many accident victims to use iPads or other tablets as they recover from serious injuries. These tablets not only help them perform day-to-day activities that they might not be able to otherwise, it also allows them to stay in touch with their attorney using video chat apps such as Skype and FaceTime. It can even be used to help stroke victims or other people who have lost the ability to speak to better communicate with their family, friends, and legal counselor.
2. Google Glass. A law firm in Arizona has just launched a new program aimed at equipping personal injury clients with Google Glass. The program, called Glass Action, lets clients send emails and other important documents to their attorneys with only a voice command or the blink of an eye, which is especially beneficial for amputees or other injury victims who can no longer use their hands. It also allows clients to record their day-to-day activities, which can be valuable in proving that their injury has had a serious impact on the way they lead their lives.
3. Black boxes in cars and trucks. I handle a lot of auto accident cases, and I know that one of the biggest struggles for clients can be producing concrete evidence that the other driver was at fault. This could change if black boxes become mandatory in all new cars and trucks, something that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently pushing for.
Black boxes, which are already being added to some cars and trucks in the US, record important crash data such as speed, acceleration, braking, and even whether or not the driver was wearing a seatbelt. This is huge for the field of personal injury law. Imagine, for example, that a commercial truck crashed into a van and injured the driver, but there were no witnesses other than the two people in the crash. Black box data from the truck could be used to prove that the truck driver lost control and accelerated into the van, or didn’t start braking until moments before the impact.
The takeaway is that the face of personal injury law is changing, largely for the better. It’s becoming easier for attorneys and clients to communicate, and it’s also becoming simpler to produce concrete evidence (since the plaintiff always has the burden of proof). It’s important for both attorneys and victims to think about how modern technology can work in their favor, rather than against them.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 15-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Imagine sleeping soundly in bed and then a loud crashing crane comes through your roof. It was a scene that happened this week in North Miami Beach, where a crane that was being used to repair a seawall slid off a barge and struck the roof of a condominium building. [gallery type="slideshow" link="file" size="large" [..]
Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes. Even your own living room. On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a [..]
Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway. As auto accident attorneys [..]
July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days. Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles? What’s more, [..]
When most of us think about Fourth of July safety, we think about fireworks. Although improper use of fireworks can cause serious injuries, there’s a less obvious risk: food poisoning. Most Fourth of July celebrations involve outdoor gatherings, with perishable food that’s often brought in by a number of people, some of whom may not [..]
Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer. The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 [..]
Every summer, Floridians look forward to that much needed break that summer camp provides: the kids to get away from the daily grind of the school year, and you to get a little breathing room from them. Exactly how much of a break would it be, though, if you’re still holding your breath in anticipation [..]
Temperatures are rising and a lot of long weekends are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to hop in your boat for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or other summer holidays, it’s important to stay safe this season. Boating accidents do happen here in Florida, and many can be fatal. In 2017, 658 [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
Uber and Lyft have really made getting around town a lot easier. The apps are simple to use, the cars are relatively inexpensive, and getting a ride only takes a few minutes. However, as wonderful as Uber and Lyft are for convenience when you need a quick lift, it is important to remember that [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Florida’s summer is well underway, and the hot weather is a perfect excuse to get out on the water. With close to 900,000 registered vessels in the state, chances are that you or someone you know owns a boat and is planning to use it this season. Getting out on a lake or the ocean [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]