How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case in South Carolina

December 11, 2023

In the era of digital connectivity, social media has become an indispensable tool for communication, entertainment, and information sharing. However, social media can hurt personal injury cases and have serious consequences for accident victims.

In South Carolina, where social media evidence is admissible in court, exercising caution and restraint on these platforms is crucial to safeguard your legal interests. Our Columbia personal injury lawyers explain what you need to know.

Social Media Evidence in South Carolina Injury Cases

The admissibility of social media evidence in South Carolina is governed by the Rules of Evidence.

Rule 401

Rule 401 dictates that evidence is admissible only if it tends to make a fact more or less probable in the case. This means that social media posts, photos, or videos must be relevant to the issues at hand in the personal injury case.

For instance, if a plaintiff claims to have suffered a debilitating back injury, their social media feed could be relevant if it shows them engaging in strenuous activities, potentially contradicting their injury claims.

Rule 901

Rule 901 outlines the requirements for authenticating evidence, ensuring that it is indeed what it purports to be and that it is connected to the party offering it. In the context of social media evidence, authentication typically involves establishing that the account belongs to the plaintiff and that the posts or content were created or shared by them.

How Social Media Can Hurt Personal Injury Cases

Social media can have a significant impact on personal injury cases in South Carolina. On the positive side, social media may be a valuable tool for gathering evidence. However, the potential risks of social media in a personal injury case far outweigh the potential benefits, particularly for plaintiffs.


One of the primary concerns is the potential for social media posts to contradict injury claims. Posts, photos, or videos that depict a plaintiff engaging in activities inconsistent with their claimed injuries can be used to undermine their credibility and damage their case.

For example, if a plaintiff claims to have suffered a severe neck injury but their social media feed shows them engaging in recreational activities that involve neck movements, this evidence could be used to impeach their claim.

Undermining Damages

Social media can also undermine noneconomic damages, which are intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Posts that portray a plaintiff as happy, active, or engaged in recreational activities can be used to argue that their noneconomic damages are exaggerated or fabricated.

posting on social networks can hurt your case


Furthermore, social media posts are susceptible to misinterpretation or being taken out of context. A seemingly innocuous post or comment could be twisted to suggest that a plaintiff is exaggerating their injuries or that their claims lack credibility. This can lead to unfair portrayals of a plaintiff’s character or their injuries.


Finally, the mere presence of social media activity can invite scrutiny from defense attorneys and insurance companies, who may use it to uncover potentially damaging information. This can lead to unnecessary investigations and attempts to discredit the plaintiff’s claims.

Protecting Your Case from Social Media Pitfalls

Given how social media can hurt personal injury cases, plaintiffs must take proactive measures. Here are some recommendations:

Limit Social Media Activity

During your personal injury case, it is advisable to limit your social media activity altogether. If social media use is unavoidable, exercise extreme caution and avoid posting anything that could be misconstrued or used against you. This includes photos, videos, comments, and status updates.

Adjust Privacy Settings 

Maximize your privacy settings on all social media platforms to restrict who can view your posts and photos. Consider making your profiles private or deleting posts that could be harmful to your case. This can help minimize the risk of your social media activity being used against you.

Be Mindful of Online Behavior

Refrain from posting anything that could contradict your injury claims, undermine your credibility, or portray you in a negative light. This includes posts about your daily activities, physical capabilities, or personal opinions.

Seek Legal Guidance 

Consult with your attorney about how to manage your social media presence during your personal injury case. Your attorney can provide specific advice based on the facts of your case, the applicable laws, and the potential risks involved.

Contact a Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Today!

Social media is a powerful tool that can have a significant impact on personal injury cases in South Carolina. While it can be used to connect with others and gather information, it is essential to exercise caution and discretion to avoid inadvertently jeopardizing your legal claims.

By limiting social media activity, adjusting privacy settings, and seeking guidance from a Columbia personal injury lawyer, you can minimize the risks and protect your interests throughout the legal process. Contact the Connell Law Firm at 803-310-5700 for a free injury case evaluation.