Smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, and devices like the Kindle Fire are everywhere, making it easy to keep up with family and friends. If you were involved in a car accident, you may think nothing of posting a status update on Facebook, Twitter, or another form of social media. You might even post photos of yourself after the accident, of the damage to your automobile, or photos taken at the scene of the accident. Most of us would seldom consider that what we post through social media could have serious legal consequences, yet many cases have suffered an adverse outcome because of social media. Here is what you need to understand about social media and personal injury claims.
Innocent Comments Can Be Misconstrued and Used Against You
Car accident victims must be extremely careful when posting to social media after the accident. As the victim of the negligence of another, sharing details on your health could give insurance companies just the information they need to use against you and deny your claim. A post as simple and innocent as “I was running late for work and ended up in a car accident,” can have far-reaching repercussions. The insurance company may claim you were equally at fault in the accident since you were running late and were therefore probably driving too fast or recklessly.
Or suppose you have suffered neck and back injuries from a car accident. You happen to post a photo on Facebook of your newly planted garden. What you may have failed to mention is that the garden was planted by your children—or husband, or friends. That one photograph could completely derail your lawsuit as the defense could claim if you are healthy enough to plant a garden, then your injuries must not be all that serious. The same could happen if you post about how much you enjoy riding your horses, or skiing or playing tennis, or virtually any type of physical activity. Even if you have not engaged in the activity since your accident, the defense and insurance company may use your posting to show you are not really hurt.
Avoid Social Media After Your Car Accident
Because photos and postings on social media can be so easily misinterpreted, the best advice is to stay far, far away from all forms of social media until your case is settled. In order to assist your personal attorney with your case, make a list of all your social media accounts and change your privacy settings to show updates only to family and friends. Refrain from posting anything at all about your accident, no matter how innocent. Don’t delete anything on your social media accounts without consulting your attorney, as doing so can make you look as though you are attempting to hide something. Anything, which will help the other side avoid taking responsibility for your accident, will be considered fair game, so contact an experienced Colorado Springs personal injury law firm soon after your car accident, and avoid social media.