Social media allows people to stay connected to friends and family on a daily basis. In fact, millions of people use social media to share everything, including vacation pictures, back-to-school photographs, and current events.
While many people post on social media sites multiple times a day, this can become a problem if you were recently involved in a car accident. An innocent social media post can seriously damage your claim and prevent you from being able to collect financial compensation for your injuries. An experienced lawyer will discuss the risks of social media, and they may even recommend that you avoid posting on all sites until your case has been settled.
How can Social Media Negatively Impact My Car Accident Claim?
Even if the other driver involved in the accident was at fault, your social media posts can be used against you by the at-fault driver’s lawyer or insurance company. Your settlement amount may be reduced, or your claim could be denied based on the comments or pictures that you post on social media. The following are examples of ways that social media posts can hurt your claim:
- Harmful statements: Even the most seemingly innocent comments about the accident can be used by the other driver’s insurance company to question the seriousness of your injuries. For example, if you post a comment on social media telling friends and family that you are in much less pain today than you were yesterday, the insurance adjuster may use those comments to argue that your condition is improving.
- Check-ins on social media: Some platforms show your location when you are participating in an activity, like a yoga class or a spin class at the gym. If you said that you suffered a broken arm in a car accident, but your social media showed that you signed in for a spin class at the gym, the defense will use this as evidence that your injury is not as serious as you claimed.
- Pictures: While it may be tempting to post pictures of the accident, including the damage to your vehicle or your injuries, you are strongly urged to resist the temptation. The photograph may not depict all of the facts. The defense will look for any piece of evidence in the picture to prove that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
- Posts are not private: Despite the privacy settings that can be used on different platforms, there is almost no such thing as privacy when it comes to social media. In some cases, even private posts may be subject to discovery if they are relevant. If a person has filed a claim against another individual, the injured party has the right to review their social media.
- Posts from friends and family: Even if you do not post any comments or pictures on social media about the accident, your friends and family might post something. For example, a friend may “tag” you in a photograph. If the photograph provides the defense with evidence suggesting that your injuries are not serious, this can be very damaging to your case. In addition, if friends or family members make comments about the compensation amount you expect to receive, this can also hurt your case.
What Social Media Tips can Help My Car Accident Claim?
Do not share information about the accident. Social media is the easiest and quickest way to update friends and family about major events in your life. A traumatic car accident is certainly a major event, and social media allows you to notify them about the accident in a single post, rather than having to make multiple phone calls. However, using social media to provide updates about the accident, your recovery, or the settlement process is strongly discouraged. In fact, you are urged to stay off social media completely until the claim has been settled.
Do not post photographs or videos about the accident or case. While it is a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and skid marks or debris on the road, you should never post those pictures on social media.
Do not share medical information on social media. This includes any information about your injury, doctor visits, medical procedures, prescription medications, and other medical information. If you are using a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for the expenses associated with your injury, only provide the minimum amount of details. The more information you include, the more likely it is that the information can be used against you.
Urge family members to avoid making social media mistakes. When it comes to posting on social media, it is better to be safe than sorry. That means talking to family members and asking that they refrain from posting any pictures of you, comments about your injuries, or any information about the accident or case. This will prevent the defense from using posts against you.
Monitor all of your social media accounts. With the number of social media platforms that are available today, users have to keep track of the ones they use regularly and the ones they use less often. When changing privacy settings, make sure that you update the setting for all accounts. If there is a social media account that is rarely used, consider getting rid of it altogether.
Never post an apology on social media. Apologies or statements that imply liability can be used against you by the defense. Those injured in a car accident are strongly urged to avoid apologizing to the other motorist. This advice goes for social media posts as well.
Set all social media profiles to private. This does not make it impossible for people to gain access to your profiles, although, it will make it more difficult to find and access your information. Urge friends and family members to update their privacy settings as well. If you get any friend requests or requests to follow, do not accept those requests.
Is it Possible to Stay Active on Social Media in Some Capacity?
For people who are extremely active on social media, avoiding all of their platforms entirely for the duration of the claims process may be challenging. If you are someone who must use social media, make sure that you limit your engagement to liking other people’s posts or sharing news content. Ideally, you should lay low until the personal injury case has been resolved. This will ensure that you reach the best possible outcome.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers at ACTS Law Help Personal Injury Clients Avoid Social Media Snags
If you have been injured in a car accident, you are urged to contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at ACTS Law as soon as possible. If you wish to pursue a personal injury claim, it is highly recommended that you avoid all social media platforms until your case has been settled. Even the most seemingly innocent post can be taken out of context and used against you by the other driver’s legal team. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 833-ACTS-LAW or contact us online. With offices located in Los Angeles and San Diego, we serve clients throughout Southern California.