Defense Denied Facebook Access in Pennsylvania Crash Injury Case

Even though social media might seem like a staple in your life already, it is still a relatively new reality in the scope of the law. More and more in different areas of the law, judges are having to make decisions about what is ethical and unethical use of social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

In a Pennsylvania personal injury case sparked by a 2007 car accident, a Bucks County judge recently had to make a call in such a complicated social media issue. He ruled that the defense attorney in the case doesn’t have a right to access the plaintiff’s Facebook information. That is not always the case in these types of cases.

According to sources, this case produced a different ruling regarding social media because the plaintiff had given no signs of deceptiveness, and she had already provided plenty of evidence to the defense after the accident took place.

The plaintiff in this Pennsylvania case was a passenger in the 2007 single-vehicle accident. She is suing the driver for the injury she suffered when the passenger side airbag deployed and severely injured her face. Her face was cut, needed lots of stitches and the plaintiff is left with facial scars from the crash.

She reportedly provided the defense with various before and after pictures of her face in order for damages in the case to be thoroughly assessed. The defendant has already decided to take responsibility for the accident and injuries, but the defense attorney wanted access to the victim’s Facebook page to get a better idea about how much compensation she deserves.


  • Above the Law: “I’m Suing You, So No, We Can’t Be Facebook Friends,” Chritopher Danzig, 19 May 2011