After suffering an injury in a car accident, you might want to post about it on social media to let your family and friends know how you are doing after the crash. But discussing a car accident on social media can negatively impact your car accident claim.
Before you log back into your social media accounts, find out more about how social media can hurt your personal injury lawsuit. The dedicated Atlanta car accident attorneys of Butler Kahn are ready to advise you on how you can protect your right to financial recovery.
Our firm focuses solely on representing injury clients, which gives us the experience needed to handle even the toughest cases. We believe you deserve caring, personalized service from your personal injury attorney. Unlike the billboard law firms that take on as many clients as possible to collect a fee from a quick settlement, we limit the number of cases we take so our firm can provide the attention and maximum effort your case deserves.
Contact Butler Kahn to learn more about how we can guide you through the claims process.
How Can My Social Media Posts Be Used Against Me in an Injury Lawsuit?
Insurance companies and defense lawyers sometimes monitor an accident victim’s social media accounts to see if the injured person posts anything that they can use to minimize the claim.
Insurers and their attorneys may also monitor the accounts of the accident victim’s friends and family members. They might even create profiles to submit friend or connection requests to gain further access to the accident victim’s profile.
In court, your social media postings can be admitted into evidence at trial.
What Type of Social Media Use Can Hurt My Personal Injury Claim?
The other side could take almost any type of information you post on social media out of context, twist it, and use it against you. Even posting an image that is seemingly unrelated to the accident – such as a photo of your dog on a walk – could be used to imply that you are in better health than you claim.
However, some types of media posts could particularly hurt your case, such as:
- Conceding any degree of fault – You could unintentionally post information that implies you may have been partially or entirely at fault, such as saying, “I missed a step and fell down the stairs,” which might be interpreted as you not paying attention.
- Apologizing – It is natural to feel sympathy for everyone involved in the crash, but the insurance company could interpret an apology as an admission of fault.
- Dismissing your injuries – To keep your friends and family from worrying about you, you might minimize the severity of your injuries online. The insurance company could use this to argue that you are not that badly hurt.
- Venting – Demonstrating your anger toward the at-fault driver for your injuries may help you temporarily let off steam, but it could harm your case in the long run. The defendant’s insurance company or counsel might argue that you are pursuing an injury claim out of anger or revenge.
How Risky Is Posting to Social Media After a Car Accident?
Even if you think you are not posting anything on social media that would harm your car accident claim, insurance companies and defense attorneys could find a way to twist it to their advantage. For example, if you post about your car accident and include a statement to the effect of “the other car came out of nowhere,” the other side may point to that statement as evidence that you were not paying attention and therefore bear some or all of the fault.
Posting something that contradicts official statements you have given can also be highly detrimental. For example, posting that you had a yellow light when you have told the insurance company or testified in a deposition or at trial that you had a green light can severely undercut your credibility.
Photos or videos of you playing sports, traveling, or keeping active when you claim to have suffered serious injuries may lead the insurance company or defense lawyers to argue that you have exaggerated your injuries.
Best Practices for Social Media After an Accident
With respect to using social media after you have been injured in a car accident, some best practices to follow include:
- Don’t overshare. You aren’t required to share everything with the whole world, so don’t. When you set your privacy settings, share only with your close friends and family.
- Do not accept a follow or friend request or connection request from anyone you do not personally know.
- Ideally, you should refrain from posting anything on social media until your car accident claim is over. If you wish to engage with social media, do not discuss any details of the accident or your case. Ask your friends and family members and social media connections to avoid discussing your claim as well.
- If you have alleged that you suffered injuries that have kept you out of work, do not post photos or videos of you engaging in activities such as hiking, sports, or even traveling for recreation. Avoid using any geotagging or check-in features that may show you engaging in activities after you have claimed to have been disabled from working.
- Avoid posting anything negative about the other drivers involved in the accident or the insurance companies involved in your claim. If you later file a lawsuit in your car accident claim, those posts could make you look vindictive in the eyes of the jury.
If you have concerns about how social media could affect the success of your car accident claim, call Butler Kahn or contact us online to discuss what steps you should take after you have been hurt in a car crash that was not your fault.