Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all popular forms of social media that many Americans use every day to communicate with each other online. People love sharing glimpses about their lives through photos or written descriptions. For example, after being injured in a car accident, many people want to share details about their experience online with friends and family members by posting on their social media platforms. However, did you know that posting on social media after a car accident could hurt your personal injury case? Here’s how.
Social Media Used Against You
When you post on social media—even if the post is about something completely unrelated to your accident—it can be used against you in court. In the event of a personal injury claim, insurance companies and their defense lawyers will often look to social media platforms for evidence that could be used to minimize or even dismiss your case. Insurance adjusters and investigators are on a mission to disprove your side of the story. They will be looking for anything they can do so the insurance company can deny you compensation, and that means looking at social media sites to find anything inconsistent with your insurance claim.
For instance, you may have been injured in an accident that caused several broken bones and PTSD. However, you are tagged in a post online that shows you at a concert, seemingly healthy and with no visible injuries. The post pictures may not show the crutches lying on the floor next to you or that you are still struggling with symptoms related to your PTSD. The post could even be from someone else’s page!
This photo could be a way for the defense to cast doubt on your injury claim. As a result, the judge or jury could rule that you are not as injured as you claim. Unfortunately, this means that you could lose a significant portion, if not all, of your desired financial compensation for medical treatment.
Four Simple Do’s & Don’t’s to Status Updates
Fortunately, the legal team at Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer, P.A. is here to help. We have outlined four key do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind while in the middle of a legal battle:
- Do not post about your case on social media: Everything online is permanent — including deleted posts, as any post can be screenshot while it is live. Most importantly, posts can be easily spun by the defense to seem like something completely different than they really are.
- Do enhance your privacy settings across every social media account: Setting your social media profiles to private can prevent the defense from sifting through your posts and using anything they find against you. Also, make sure to monitor your friends and followers by not accepting any requests from people you do not know or trust.
- Do not let people tag you online: In addition to setting your social media accounts to private, it is vital that none of your friends or family members tag you in any photos or posts. You never know who their friends or followers are or whether their profiles are set to private. Pictures and post updates found on another person’s account can still be used against you in court.
- Do not check into locations online: Similar to being tagged in photos and posts, checking yourself into restaurants and other locations can carry negative consequences. The defense may use check-ins as false proof that your injuries are minor because they don’t prevent you from going out.
What to Avoid Posting on Social Media Accounts
The best way to avoid hurting your car accident case online is to avoid posting to your social media profiles altogether; however, this is not always possible. We then recommend that accident victims avoid posting:
- Photos or videos of you doing activities
- Photos of your injuries
- Location check-ins on Facebook
- Anything related to your case
Check Your Privacy Settings
Remember that privacy settings do not mean that your social media posts are completely invisible to everyone else. This is a common misconception about social media, and it can be pretty easy for defense attorneys to find some way to obtain access to view your social media and gather evidence against you. Whether it’s a family member or friend’s post on social media, everyone can see you if they have tagged you in Facebook posts or an Instagram picture. The bottom line is that you should not automatically assume that your social media posts and pages are protected.
How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Our dedicated attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer, P.A. know how tragic and traumatizing it can be to suffer injuries at the hands of another. Do not give the defense any ammunition they can use to minimize the harm they caused you: Remember to secure your privacy settings across social media accounts, and refrain from posting pictures or updates about your case.
We understand that a car accident can leave you feeling stressed and confused. However, we are here to tell you that you do not have to go through this process alone. If you are pursuing a claim against the negligent party that harmed you, Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer, P.A. can provide you with experienced legal counsel. We have advocated for thousands of injury victims in Mississippi throughout our more than 40 years of practice; we truly want to fight for the compensation you deserve and help you get back to your life.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer at 601-800-5339 for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options.