Although cars are getting smarter than ever before and feature sophisticated technology, such as lane departure warning, accidents can still happen.
The problem is that it’s not always easy to say who was at fault, especially if the incident took place on a busy highway or in a traffic jam. It doesn’t matter if you were the only victim and none of the people involved suffered any injuries. The court must decide if you deserve compensation and how much.
You need to contact an accident lawyer if you want to get a fair settlement. However, you also need to keep in mind that your actions outside court hearings and legal meetings can also have an impact on the jury’s decision. In this article, we will take a look at how social media can hurt your case.
How Social Media Can Hurt Your Accident Case
We live in an interconnected world that encourages us to open a window to our private lives. So much so that we enjoy allowing strangers to catch a glimpse of what we do. Whether we post a tweet or upload a picture on Instagram, we are giving away information about our activities, whereabouts, relationships, moods, opinions, and attitudes towards the world.
Naturally, when you are involved in an accident, and you have been injured, you are angry. You would want justice and compensation, especially if it had a severe impact on your day to day life. Of course, you would probably want to go to social media and write a rant about the injustice you suffered. Maybe, you write a hateful post and post it to Facebook in the heat of the moment. You might get numerous approving comments, empathy, and support.
It is reassuring to know that a lot of people are on your side with this, but think about it for a moment: will any of these comments help you win your case?
Insurance Defense Lawyers Can Use Your Social Media Posts Against You
Insurance defense lawyers will do anything to demonstrate that your claims are not supported by facts, and they are not justified. Their work is to prove that your injuries are not as bad as you are saying, and they will use every information they can find to back up their claims.
Defense lawyers can request to examine the information you post on social media, even if your data is protected by privacy setting. However, most of the times, they don’t even have to get a court order to access your posts. They can view your content by requesting access under a fake account, or through your friends and other people on your list.
The Type of Posts That Can Hurt Your Case
Here are some examples of information that those involved in a car accident tend to post on social media and defense lawyers could target that:
- Check-ins: We know that it has become a habit to geotag your posts. Sometimes, the app you are using could post your location. If you travel a lot when claiming that injuries, anxiety or depression keep you isolated, then defense lawyers can attack your case and claim otherwise.
- Physical Activities: If you claim that injuries from the accident prevent you from continuing your hiking hobby, but you post pictures from a hiking trip shortly after, your credibility will be questioned. Even if the trip was painful, slow and needed for your mental health.
- Socializing: Sometimes the claims include compensation for the damage caused by anxiety or depression. If you appear in a friend’s photo, smiling next to a cheerful group of people, and enjoying a party, that can be interpreted as exaggerating your claims and lying about your mental state.
Simply posting on social media harms you, no matter what you post, because it shows that you that you are well enough to keep your little habit going.
Other information that could be used by the defense lawyers against you has to do with the confidentiality agreement between you and your lawyer. Here are a few examples you should keep in mind:
- Posting pictures or videos about the accident or your injury
- Giving away names of the involved parties
- Trying to anticipate how the case will end
- Commenting on how it happened
- Mentioning settlement agreements or financial gain
- Mentioning legal advice you have received and how you will apply it.
What to Do If You Have a Pending Injury Case
If you are fighting for fair compensation for your injuries, it is best to take a break for now. The best way to avoid having your claims belittled, questioned or interpreted is not to give any chance for the defense to get there.
Just close your accounts for now, if you don’t trust your ability to stay away from it. Most social media platforms allow you to deactivate your profile, just in case you change your mind. Keep them deactivated for as long as your case is pending.
If you decide to keep them active, be very careful about what can be used from your posts. Keep your profile and content private, create a circle of trust and adjust your privacy settings. Do not accept new friend requests and don’t allow strangers to follow your posts. Even so, you might be surprised how much about you can be found through your friends, so warning them about it should help, too.
In conclusion, keep a low profile on social media until your case is closed.
You never know how one of your posts can be used against you. If you are unsure about something, ask your accident lawyer if it’s a good idea or not.