Social Media And Your Car Accident Case
After a car accident, focusing on protecting your legal rights can be critical to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Tempting as it may be, resist the urge to vent your shock, anger, or other feelings about the accident on any social media channels.
Social media and your car accident case should be kept entirely separately for the duration of a lawsuit. If you reveal any information about your accident or your private life on social media, you risk severely harming your rights to legal recourse and compensation.
The experienced attorneys at The Mark Casto Law Firm can protect your legal rights and help you file a personal injury claim. Call us today for a free review of your case at 706-940-4030.
Social Media Posts About the Accident Could Be Interpreted as Admitting Fault
The time after a car crash can be emotionally heated, chaotic, and upsetting. Some accident victims may even apologize to other drivers, although they are not to blame for the crash. Remember that any comment you make regarding the facts of the accident can potentially be used against you.
What is worse, involving social media with your car accident case and making any posts about the facts of the crash can potentially result in the other side now having ammunition to fight your claim. Comments such as “I am so sorry this happened” or “I simply did not see the other car” can harm your personal injury claim immensely, and your ability to receive the compensation you deserve.
Lawyers Could Argue That You Are Partially Responsible for the Accident
The insurance company's attorneys will undoubtedly scour your online presence to search for any evidence that they could use to destroy your claim. According to Georgia's contributory negligence law, a plaintiff who is deemed to be partially at fault for an accident could see their compensation reduced according to the percentage of fault. Therefore, an innocent comment or post can potentially cost you the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other costs after an accident.
Social Media Can Damage Your Case
If you are about to embark on a personal injury lawsuit or are hoping to recover damages from an at-fault party's insurance company, anything you post on social media could be used against you. Posts or comments that can particularly harm your right to damages can include:
- Photographs of physical activities while trying to recover damages for serious injuries
- Posting any details regarding a settlement offer
- Posting photographs of vacations or parties while claiming loss of income
- Checking in at a gym while claiming to be injured and immobile
- Posting about work while trying to recover damages for lost wages
However, trying to do some damage limitation and deleting posts can also be a mistake. The National Law Review states that purging details of your social media account could count as “spoliation”. Spoliation is the act of destroying or altering evidence in a lawsuit which is generally a criminal offense. If you posted something on social media, it is often a good idea to avoid deleting it, as screenshots of the post saved by the other party can illustrate your attempt to destroy evidence.
Keep Accident Details Strictly Confidential
Anything you share with your lawyer is confidential information. However, if you share details of your accident or lawsuit with anyone else, including friends, family, and social media users, anything you say and write can potentially become public information. Additionally, your friends and family members can post these details or pictures as well on their own social media accounts, which could also become evidence in your case.
The defendant and their lawyer will particularly home in on any information they can recover about:
- The circumstances of the accident
- Your medical conditions and recovery
- Your emotional state
If you keep this information between you and your lawyer, there is no risk of it leaking out and sabotaging your ability to receive the compensation you deserve under the law for your injuries and losses related to your car accident case. Contact The Mark Casto Law Firm to find out more about recovering compensation after your car accident, and how you should approach social media until you receive justice and compensation.
What if My Social Media Accounts Are Set to Private?
Unfortunately, setting your accounts to private may not help you conceal any information from prying eyes. Bloomberg mentions that even a restricted social media account cannot guarantee the privacy of your comments and posts. While it is generally preferable to keep your social media profile in a private rather than a public setting, information could still leak out.
Moreover, anything you post on your social media accounts, even if it is restricted to friends and family only, can potentially be requested by a court as evidence. If you deleted social media accounts and content, you may have to reinstate the accounts and provide the requested evidence as per a court order.
Friends and Family's Social Media Accounts
While you may be able to control your own social media accounts, you cannot control friends' or family members' social media activity. Unfortunately, what others post on their social media profiles can also be damaging for your case. The insurance company or defendants in your case will go to some lengths to recover information that could help discredit your claim. This can include scouring your friends' and family members' social media accounts for any reference to your accident.
For example, if you are claiming damages for catastrophic injuries and your sister tags you in a photo on her own social media account showing the two of you parasailing or diving on vacation in Florida, you could find it more challenging to obtain compensation for injuries or lost wages.
Therefore, make sure to let your friends and family members know not to post or comment on anything regarding the accident or your private life for the duration of the lawsuit. This simple step could help you recover the compensation you need to go on with your life after a devastating accident.
How Can I Safely Use Social Media During My Car Accident Case?
Social media and your car accident claim generally do not work well together. However, what you do not post cannot be used against you. When you are going through a lawsuit, completely abstaining from using social media can be a good idea.
However, since we now conduct much of our lives and even our businesses on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, this may not be practical. Alternatively, you could become an observer rather than a contributor and try to limit your posting and commenting to subjects that do not reveal anything about your case or life.
Call The Mark Casto Law Firm for Help Today
You do not have to struggle with a potentially challenging car accident case on your own. The Mark Casto Law Firm can be here for you during a stressful time and help you recover what you deserve. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out about your legal rights and how to ensure they remain protected during the course of your case: 706-940-4030.