YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS CAN RUIN YOUR ACCIDENT CASE!!
You’re in an accident and to reassure your friends and family, you go right to Facebook and post that you’re fine. Maybe you take some photos for Instagram, perhaps with a selfie of you smiling to show you’re ok, or shoot a TikTok showing you walking around the accident scene.
Do you know who is scouring your social media sites (which are never really private)? The defendant’s insurance companies and their lawyers! And every post, tweet, snap, etc you post during or after your accident can be used in a court of law.
5 RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO FOLLOW AFTER AN ACCIDENT
RULE #1: NOTHING IS TRULY PRIVATE
Your privacy settings do not ensure that your information is protected. Friends who tag you might reveal a picture of you that might be interpreted against you. You have no control over who tags you. If your privacy settings are not particularly restrictive, an investigator could locate some of your account’s content. Your name and email address or place of employment will make it easy for an investigator to pinpoint your account and start monitoring it.
And don’t think you can post and then delete. The Wayback Machine and others like it can find anything that was ever posted.
RULE #2: PHOTOS CAN TELL THE WRONG STORY.
You go to your nephew’s 1st birthday party and even though you are in pain, or have difficulty getting up out of the chair, your friend posts a photo of you picking him up to give him a birthday hug. Maybe, just one time for a family wedding you push yourself to wear those pretty heels and you take a TikTok to share the joy of dancing with the bride.
These photos don’t reflect the pain you’re in because of this accident and don’t show how hard it is to get around and perform your daily tasks. But they will be found by the insurance companies and they will be shown to a jury to prove you really are ok.
RULE #3: EVEN EVERYDAY POSTINGS CAN BE MISLEADING
Frequent posting about everyday activities might be taken as proof that you aren’t seriously injured or did not suffer emotional distress. Images of you enjoying your daughter’s soccer game in the bleachers, laughing at lunch with coworkers, swimming with the kids posted online could be used by the insurance company against you.
Live your life, just don’t share it on social media.
RULE #4: DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT ONLINE
Your friends will naturally ask about your accident, how are you feeling, how bad were you hurt, are you back at work, etc. Take your responses offline. “I’m doing ok”, “couldn’t take any more time off from work’, ‘hurts a lot but I’m handling it” might be true but can easily be misinterpreted.
Even discussing the details of the accident or injury, how it happened, who said or did what, where, when…….all of this will be seen by the insurance company and their lawyers. It’s just not worth it.
RULE #5: DON’T ADD NEW FRIENDS
He might be your friend’s friend’s friend, or she might have made a funny comment about your friend’s post or you both seem to love fishing. But in reality, he/she could turn out to be an insurance investigator trying to gain access to your accounts. Or a private investigator who sends you a friend request to gain access to your feed.
You can go into any social media account and change your settings to maximum privacy. It might be fun to connect with new people, just hold off while involved with an accident case.
WHAT TO AVOID DOING:
Although you may enjoy your social media interactions and appreciate expressions of sympathy regarding your accident and injuries, social media silence will be your best strategy during litigation.
To protect your injury case, do NOT:
- Engage with people online who you do not know or trust
- Share any information about the insurance claim or lawsuit
- Respond to comments about your accident
- Share any pictures/videos of you in potentially compromising settings or situations
- Share any content related to celebrating, partying, or drinking
Although this advice might seem extreme, the party responsible for your damages wants to avoid paying a high settlement. A picture of you posing with a friend with a smile on your face does not communicate the pain that you endured to struggle out of a chair to stand for a moment. People coping with chronic pain sometimes find the strength to enjoy themselves, but images cannot tell that side of the story.
When you are looking for a personal injury attorney, why HLA? We are not the largest, nor do we have the flashiest billboards. What we do have is 35 years of aggressively representing the injured throughout South Florida and we have earned the reputation as Experienced Litigators with a Reputation for Results. Call us at 305-653-5555 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation. Learn why over 85% of our injury cases come from referrals from our clients and even other attorneys.