The weeks, months, and sometimes even years after a car accident are extremely confusing and stressful. The insurance company may be making things more difficult, medical bills are likely piling up, and you may even have to think about repairing or replacing your vehicle. You certainly have a lot to think about, including what you post on social media.
While social media allows you to keep in touch with your support network after a crash, it can also hurt any car accident claim you file. Below, one of our experienced Phoenix car accident lawyers outlines how posting to social media can hurt your case.
Protect Your Privacy
You should keep all details about your car accident private until you have spoken to an attorney. Posting to social media about the accident can expose you to many different legal issues and place your case at risk. Certain details may even get your case dismissed or result in obtaining a lower settlement amount than you would have otherwise. Always protect your privacy by refraining from posting to social media and asking your family members and friends to do the same.
Social Media Posts to Avoid After a Car Accident
You may feel tempted to post all of the details on social media after an accident. It is true that you need support during this difficult time, but it is best to obtain it offline. Using social media may seem innocent enough, but it can have serious consequences that can negatively impact the outcome of your case. Some of the main social media posts to avoid after a car accident are as follows:
- Photos or video footage of the crash: You should take photos and video footage of the crash while you are still at the scene of the accident. They can greatly help your Phoenix personal injury lawyer determine how the crash happened and who is at fault. However, it is important to keep these photos private. Posting them to social media will only give the insurance company and the court ammunition to use against you.
- Injury status updates: Of course, you want to reassure your loved ones that you are doing fine, even if you are still in great pain and have not fully recovered yet. Unfortunately, the insurance company will use any injury status updates against you, as well. They may argue that because you said you “are doing better,” your injuries are not as serious as you said.
- Jokes regarding the crash: Again, to bring some levity to the situation, you may want to make a joke about the accident. While you may think this is innocent enough, it may discredit any future statements you make or otherwise undermine your claim. Your injuries, and the impact they have had on your life, are very serious. You need to show this to the insurance company and the courts.
- Recovery status updates: As your injuries start to heal, you may find that other areas of your life begin to improve, as well. For example, you may be able to return to work, or you may start driving again. The insurer will use these statements to show that you are not suffering as greatly as you say you are, which could result in reduced compensation.
- Accepting friend requests from strangers: Even if you are the type of person who never refuses a friend request or a request to reciprocate a follow, it is critical that you only accept these requests from people you know and trust. A representative from the insurance company may try sending you a friend request to gain access to your profile, particularly if your settings are very private. This is the only way to control who sees what you post on social media.
- Posting pictures of certain activities: Not only should you refrain from posting pictures of the actual accident, but you also should not post photos of you engaging in certain activities. Even something that seems as innocent as dancing at a bar can be used against you. The insurance company will use it to argue that your movements are not as limited as you said and use it to reduce the settlement they offer.
Why You Cannot Rely on Privacy Settings
Most social media platforms, such as Facebook, allow users to change their privacy settings. To keep things as confidential as possible, you may even set these to the tightest settings possible. However, this is not a guarantee that no one will ever be able to access your posts. There are many ways the lawyer for the other side may still access your profile. If they believe that a post contains evidence relevant to your case, they may even ask a judge to force you to produce the posts. Before posting anything on social media, ask yourself if you want it used in your case.
Tips for Using Social Media Safely After a Car Accident
The best way to guarantee that social media will not hurt your case is to not use it. Still, if this is too difficult, there are some tips to keep in mind, which include:
- Do not speak about the accident online to anyone, even trusted contacts.
- Be mindful of what you like, retweet, and comment on. Even if you do not directly post anything to social media, these actions can hurt you.
- Review your privacy settings frequently and make sure they are as tight as possible.
- Do not delete previous posts, as this can seem suspicious.
- Do not speak to anyone about the accident, even if someone reaches out to you to ask a question or discuss a matter.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers in Phoenix Today
At Impact Legal, our Phoenix car accident lawyers can advise on all aspects of your case, including those that will help it and what will place it in jeopardy. If you have been hurt, call us now at 602-345-1818 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys and learn more about how we can help.