Be careful what you post on Facebook!
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The possibility has arisen that a personal injury judgment could be overturned because of Facebook posts which suggest that a witness was not as independent as they first claimed.
After a road traffic accident, the Claimant was awarded damages. Evidence was given by a witness who claimed to be independent and this undoubtedly contributed to the Claimant recovering damages in the case.
The Defendant appealed the decision and submitted evidence to the Court (including a number of Facebook posts) which showed that the relationship between the Claimant and the witness was actually far from independent. On appeal, the Defendant relied on the Facebook posts and stated that both the Claimant and the witness had perjured themselves and that the Judgment was therefore obtained by fraud.
The High Court Judge who heard the appeal was reluctant to find fraud, but sent the case back to the Trial Judge for determination. The rationale behind this, was that the Trial Judge who had heard the original evidence was in the best position to decide whether or not the fresh evidence, which included the Facebook posts, of the close relationship between the Claimant and the witness would have affected his decision to allow the Claimant to win the case.
The original Trial Judge will also consider whether the Judgment was obtained by fraud and whether the Claimant and the witness perjured themselves.
This case demonstrates the importance of fully investigating the evidence on both sides before a matter proceeds to trial. It also demonstrates that postings on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, can be used as evidence in legal cases.
How Can We Help You?
At Samuels Solicitors, we have a wealth of experience of bringing claims relating to online disputes, notably claims for libel and slander on Facebook and other social media. We are also experts in advising on personal injury claims, as well as all other commercial disputes.
We will provide a free initial assessment of most cases, although for libel and slander claims we make a small initial charge to cover our administration costs. Where there are a good prospects of success, we will consider acting for Clients under the terms of a Conditional (no win no fee) Agreement. For Clients where this is not possible we have a range of flexible funding options available to make the payment of legal fees much more manageable.
Samuels Solicitors are based in Devon, but we act for Clients throughout the whole of the South West, and the UK. We have a strong reputation as a niche no win no fee solicitors firm.
Contact us today for a discussion about your case.