Posting on social media has become a habit for many people; we like to share updates within our social networks about our thoughts, our triumphs, and our tragedies. However, posting on social media after an accident –whether a car accident or a slip and fall case–can be damaging to your personal injury case. Our advice? Don’t do it.
Posting on Social Media May Hurt Your Case
Oversharing is never a good thing, but even casual posting on social media after an accident, even if you aren’t posting about the accident itself, can have serious repercussions when it comes to the viability of your claim. Here’s why you should limit your social media use after an accident.
- Insurance companies troll social media accounts for any excuse to deny a claim.
Taking a vacation, smiling and going out for a drink, attending a concert–all of these seem innocent enough, but when posted after an accident, the insurance company can use them to argue that your injury is not as severe as you say. No matter how much pain you are in at the concert, if you smiled for a picture and posted it–that moment in time is what is captured.
- Posting photos of the accident can provide information for the other legal team.
Avoid sharing pictures or video of your injuries or the accident scene online. These postings, as well as comments on them, can be used against you or to poke holes in your claim by the opposing legal team. Save any and all photographic and video evidence for your legal team.
- Online behavior can bring your case into question.
Playing social media games, having lively conversations with friends and family, and sharing your day to day activities can give the insurance company and opposing legal team “evidence” to use against you. They can try to argue that you are maintaining a robust social media presence and therefore must not be as affected by your injury as you claim, among other arguments to diminish your suffering.
This doesn’t mean that after an accident you have to delete your social media accounts; feel free to use them for browsing, but stop and think before you post.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, refrain from posting on social media and instead reach out to a qualified attorney today for a risk-free consultation.
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One of the first things we ask our clients to do is, is don’t post anything on social media about your accident. And if you’ve posted something, go ahead and take it down. One thing is going to be assured, and that is that the other side, the insurance company’s going to go to your social media site, as soon as they’re aware of the claim, and they’re going to stalk it, and they’re going to pull anything that helps them. If you go on vacation two weeks after the accident and there’s pictures of you on a beach down in Florida riding a bike, they’re going to print those. And when we go to mediate, and I’m telling the adjusters about how bad this injury was and how it’s affected my client, really has an impact on their life, they’re going to fax me a copy or email me a copy of those pictures and say, “Well, it didn’t affect her too much. Here she was in Florida. And according to her Facebook post, she was having the time of her life with her friends down on the beach.” So yeah, they’re very impactful. You can’t post anything about it.
And furthermore, you got to be careful to post anything after it. I’ve been in many depositions, many where the lawyer on the other side will pull Facebook prints out that are showing things like conduct after the fact. And when a person’s describing how badly the accident has affected them, and they’re showing pictures of them riding four wheelers, having fun after the fact, there’s no way around it, it hurts. It hurts the value of the case. They know it. I can get up and explain it just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun with your family. You just can’t have as much fun and you may hurt the whole time you’re having fun, and you may pay for it that night when you’re in awful pain you can’t get up out of bed. They just take that snapshot in time and misrepresent that there’s no injury. It still hurts.
So the reality is don’t post anything on Facebook about your accident. Really during the middle of a claim. And just stay off social media, read it all you want, but don’t post. I mean, we do that. I go on to the opposing sides’ Facebook. And I’ve found photographs of the accident taken immediately after the accident that has been extremely helpful in proving liability in a significant wrongful death case that we had a couple of years ago. Because the other side and jumped out of their truck and taken all these photographs, one of which were very damaging to them. But they didn’t realize it. And when we had asked for photographs and discovery, no one had volunteered those photographs. But I already had them, I didn’t care. And I’ve had the opposite where they’ve really hurt me with those, so.