Social media platforms allow users to stay connected with friends and family. However, if you are involved in a car accident, your social media posts can provide the other driver’s legal team with a plethora of evidence that can be used against you. Even the most seemingly innocent post or photo can be taken out of context, misconstrued, or twisted to make it seem like your injuries are not serious. An experienced lawyer will discuss the risks of posting on social media and will likely recommend that you close all of your accounts until your claim has been settled.
How can Social Media Posts Jeopardize My Case?
Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience, particularly if you suffered serious injuries. After the accident, you will likely want to let friends and family members know that you were injured in a car accident. The quickest and easiest way to do that is through social media. Rather than make multiple phone calls or send numerous emails, you can inform friends and family about your accident through social media.
Unfortunately, what you may not realize is that every picture and comment you post on various social media platforms will be examined by the other driver’s legal team. They will take a seemingly harmless post and find ways to use it against you during the claims process.
Comments can be interpreted as admitting fault. After an accident, it is completely normal for you to want to post about the accident, such as how it happened and whether you suffered serious injuries. However, your comments will be reviewed closely by the other driver’s insurance company and legal team. This is particularly true if you post a comment that sounds like an apology. Unfortunately, simple statements will likely be used against you, despite your intentions.
If the at-fault driver’s defense team is able to use social media posts against you, they may be able to reduce the financial compensation you are entitled to due to the contributory negligence laws. This statute states that if the injured party is partially liable for causing the accident, a judge will determine their percentage of fault. The financial damages awarded will be reduced by that percentage.
Discussing details of the accident negatively impacts confidentiality. When you discuss the details of the accident with your legal team, all of those conversations are confidential. However, once you start to share information about the accident, the claims process, or your settlement on social media, those comments become public statements. This includes any of the following content:
- The circumstances of the accident.
- Injuries you suffered from the accident.
- Your mental state.
- Medical conditions you suffer from.
- You emotional health.
If you are recovering from injuries that you suffered in a car accident, it may be tempting to post updates about your condition on your social media platforms. If you went out to dinner with friends who wanted to cheer you up after the accident, it is normal to want to post these as well. However, the defense team will point to these posts and argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. For example, photos of a night out with friends that is meant to lift your spirits can be used as ammunition. Keep in mind that a single photo or a comment on social media can be taken out of context. The picture of you out with friends will not show that you were actually smiling through intense pain or that you left early because of your injury. It is the job of the at-fault driver’s legal team to protect their rights and uncover every piece of evidence they can to avoid a costly settlement.
Simply being active on social media can impact your case. Even if you did not post comments or pictures having to do with the accident, if you stay overly active on social media, the other driver’s legal team may argue that active presence must mean that your injury is not particularly serious and that it has not had a major impact on your physical and mental well-being. While your lawyer will likely argue that you are active on social media because you are at home recovering from your injury, you should be prepared for the defense team to use any evidence they can to undermine your claim.
Social media check-ins can jeopardize your claim as well. Certain social media platforms will show your location on your feed when you check into a class, restaurant or event. For example, if you check yourself in for a yoga class or a spin class at the gym, the location will show up on your social media. This will also happen if you go to a restaurant or bar with friends. If you post a photo or a comment, some platforms will show that you checked in to that location. The other driver’s defense team will be able to access this information and use it to build their case against you.
Do not minimize your physical injuries. No one wants to be in extreme pain, and there are prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers that are effective at reducing pain. However, if you take pain medication so that you can attend a party or an event, photos of you can appear on social media whether you posted them or someone else did and tagged you. This can be damaging to your claim if you appear to be enjoying yourself. The defense team can use these photos as evidence that your injuries must not be serious if you can attended a party or a sports event.
Similar to the comments or photos you post on social media, the things that your friends and family members post can damage the outcome of your claim. For example, they may not realize that a comment made in jest about your driving skills can be used against you by the defense. In fact, if the defense team sees a comment like this on a friend or family member’s social media, they may interview that person and learn that you have a history of getting into car accidents. This will only hurt your case. Speak to your friends and family, and ask that they refrain from posting anything on their social media platforms that have to do with you or the accident until your claim has been settled.
Is it Possible to Use Social Media Without Damaging My Claim?
If you are in the process of filing a car accident claim, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to social media. In order to prevent the other driver’s legal team from finding information on social media that can be used against you, make sure there is nothing for them to find. That means closing all of your accounts until your claim has been settled. If that is not possible, keep the following tips in mind:
- Turn on the strictest privacy settings available.
- Deny all new requests.
- Do not post information that could be problematic. Avoid posting any photos.
- Make sure that family and friends avoid, including any information about you on their profiles.
Our Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Help Those With Personal Injury Claims Avoid Social Media Pitfalls
If you were injured in a car accident, do not let a social media post derail your settlement. Our car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law will determine who is responsible for the accident and assist you with the claims process. In order to reach a successful settlement, it is highly recommended that you avoid making any social media posts. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.