A car accident can be a very stressful experience. Questions of liability, catastrophic injuries, the inability to return to work, insurance company negotiations, and the inability to return to work can feel overwhelming. The time it takes to resolve a car accident claim and receive compensation for your injuries and losses can often take several months. During this time, you may feel like updating people on social media about the accident and your physical suffering. However, posting on social media after a car accident can cause significant legal challenges when it comes to establishing liability for your injuries or losses. Contact our experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at Spartacus Law Firm at (702) 660-1234 to learn how to protect your legal right to compensation under the law after a car accident, and what you should consider avoiding posting on your social media accounts.
Social Media and Car Accidents
When you are injured in a car accident, it is perfectly natural to want to tell everyone about your experience. Posting updates on social media about the incident can lead to confusion when it comes time for establishing liability and seeking compensation after your car accident. Posting too much information on various forms of social media could negatively impact your ability to establish liability or receive compensation later down the road. Moreover, posting negative comments on social media sites may jeopardize any settlement agreement already reached with the other party’s insurance company.
Everything Posted on Social Media Will Be Used Against You
Insurance companies may access your social media accounts if you were in a vehicle accident, and are attempting to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Defense attorneys also have the right to examine public postings for relevant evidence. In fact, LexisNexis research shows that 80% of all law enforcement professionals use social media within their investigation in order to make determinations regarding key aspects of a case. Additionally, courts have upheld the use of Facebook posts within cases, arguing that they do not violate 4th Amendment rights regarding unreasonable searches. (U.S. v. Meregildo, 883 F.Supp.2d 523 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)
These posts might include photographs, discussions, and status updates that can be used to undermine your personal injury claim. The greatest way to prevent your insposting on social media after a car accident urance company from using your social media posts against you is to avoid posting anything at all. While it is not always easy to stay away from social media, it remains the best method to ensure that you do not jeopardize your personal injury case.
How Social Media Posts Can Be Used Against You
There are several ways that social media posts can be used against a victim of a car accident.
Misinterpretation of Social Media Comments
You may write a very basic social media post about having been involved in a vehicle accident. You might, for example, write: “Just got in a car accident. It was really inconvenient. Why does this always happen to me?”
This may appear to be a benign statement to an outside observer. However, for aggressive insurance attorneys and claim adjusters, that message can be twisted into something quite different. To begin with, to describe something as “inconvenient” implies or could potentially be taken to imply that it is not a serious problem and that it is a simple inconvenience to you. It also may convey the notion that you were not severely harmed or injured as a result of the accident.
Furthermore, an attorney or claims adjuster might interpret the phrase “why does this always happen to me?” as if you’re a negligent driver who has had numerous vehicle accidents before. The preferable choice is to avoid venting your frustrations on social media and instead discuss it with a friend or family member.
Social Media Posts Interpreted as Admissions of Fault
People have a tendency to say many inappropriate or even untrue things in stressful moments after a collision. Additionally, many victims have an instinct to apologize, even when the car accident was not their fault. Unfortunately, these comments can work against victims in court, especially if a victim posts such statements on social media. In these cases, a victim’s social media preserves these comments for the defense to examine and utilize against victims to prove liability or an admission of fault for the car accident.
Ultimately, these types of social media posts can incriminate victims later on when they attempt to file a personal injury claim against another driver involved in a car accident with them.
Social Media Posts Not Directly Related to the Car Accident Can Also Harm Your Claim
Even if you are not posting about your car accident, your social media posts could potentially harm your claim. For example, if you post that you are out skiing, mountain biking, or trail running, an assumption can be made that you were not actually injured in the car accident, and this could hurt your claim. Additionally, posting about drinking and driving, getting speeding tickets, and anything else unbecoming on social media could be detrimental to an injury claim if another party is able to use these posts against you.
What To Do If You Already Posted on Social Media
If you already posted car accident updates or photographs regarding your physical status in any way on social media, you may still have the ability to obtain compensation for your losses and injuries. It is important to never delete anything you post on your social media accounts following an accident, as it can be considered obstruction of justice, and an attempt to hide evidence related to your claim.
If you fear your social media posts may work against you, consider contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer who can explain how they may have the ability to stop others from using these social media images and content as leverage against your personal injury claim.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you suffered any injuries or losses as a result of car accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal landscape that follows a serious car accident. The advice you receive from an experienced attorney can include the suggestion of not posting anything on social media until your car accident settlement claim is completely resolved.
Posting certain types of content to your social media pages following an automotive collision may end up hurting you in the long run if it is used as evidence against you during settlement negotiations or during the trial.