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Can Text Messages Be Used as Evidence in Court for Personal Injury?

Posted on December 21, 2023

When a person sustains an injury, it would surprise no one if one of the first things they did was text someone about the incident.

Our lives are surrounded by technology. In fact, almost every one of us has a powerful computer in our pocket in the form of a phone. All of this technology also means that everything we do can be watched and scrutinized more closely, even at a later date – including your text messages.

Here, we want to review how your text messages could be used as evidence during a personal injury claim.

How Personal Text Communication Could Be Used in Court

Personal text can be used in court. This applies to both criminal and civil proceedings. We only need to look at the multitude of examples, albeit much more high profile, to see that personal text communications make an appearance in courtrooms all the time as evidence.

High profile or not, text messages could affect your civil personal injury case.

Text messages provide a fairly reliable way to get into the mindset of those involved in an incident. This includes examining snapshots of a person’s communications before, during, or after an injury incident occurs. For example, if a person sustains an injury in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light, there are many reasons why an auto accident lawyer may want the at-fault driver’s text communication, including:

  • To determine if the driver was using the phone on or around when the incident happened, perhaps indicating distracted driving.
  • To pull up possible statements of admitting fault (for example, if the at-fault driver texts a relative right after a crash and says, “I just caused an accident,” this would be helpful information for a crash victim seeking to recover compensation.

Personal and workplace text communications can make their way into the courts. In most cases, we’ll see the texts start to make an appearance when a lawsuit gets filed and the “discovery process” begins. During discovery, attorneys for both sides will exchange information with one another. A personal injury lawyer for victims may need to actually subpoena text messages from other parties, which is a formal court process used to compel the release of information.

Texts Can Be Used Against You

Text messages can certainly be used to help a person win their personal injury claim, but the texts can also be used against a victim. If an injury victim personally texts anything that could be used against them concerning the injury claim, an insurance carrier or legal team for the other side may see it. This is especially true if the claim makes it into the court system.

We encourage you to keep your personal communication with others about an injury incident quiet, at least through written communication. Remember – anything you say to anyone about an injury could come up during the claims process.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

If you or a loved one have been harmed due to the actions of another person or business, you may be entitled to compensation. However, determining liability can be hard, especially when dealing with insurance carriers and other parties. A skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer can help review your case, examine the evidence, and work to recover compensation on your behalf.