Technology, and particularly social media, can be a double edged sword. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that sometimes clients, and even lawyers, can get tripped up by posting too much information online during an ongoing case. That’s why a news story on how Twitter impacted one woman’s car accident case and jury award caught our attention.
Omiesha Daniels, 22-years-old, broke her arm and was left with a scar on her face after a car accident. She sued the defendant driver of the other car and asked for $1.1 million. Ms. Daniels asserted that her injuries impacted her ability to work as a hair stylist. Her work included African American hairstyles such as braiding and weaving, and Ms. Daniels said her injured arm often caused her pain and she often has to ask for co-worker’s help.
A jury in Gwinnett County State Court awarded her $237,000 in damages. But Ms. Daniels got tripped up by Twitter posts. She went to New Orleans with friends for a weekend, which she called an “epic weekend” on Twitter. She also tweeted pictures of herself and her friends at the beach for spring break. She made further tweets about carrying handbags with her injured arm, and said, “I’m learning to love my scar.”
Due to these tweets, the jury reduced Ms. Daniels award to $142,000. The defendant’s attorney crowed to reporters, “Twitter sunk her,” and said, “Those kinds of comments and that level of activity hurt the pain and suffering claim, even when she was saying she couldn’t work like she used to.” Her attorney said that the tweets gave the jury the impression that she is not truly injured, which was not the case. He said, “There was nothing she posted that was different from what she said she could do, but with the jury we had, there was some concern that if they gave this girl a large reward, she was going to go out and party later. It’s not a hard argument to make to a very conservative jury.” He also noted that the jury in the case was composed entirely of white people, who perhaps had a hard time understanding or relating to how Ms. Daniels’ injured arm was a problem with the time consuming type of African American hair styles her job requires.
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone in your family has been involved in a car accident where another driver was at fault, the personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help you recover damages. Social media will likely continue to be an issue in cases, and incidents like this could become more common, so it is also important to discuss with your lawyer the dos and don’ts of behavior during litigation to avoid giving the jury the wrong impression. Call our law office at 404-814-8949 to discuss your potential case, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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