Social media is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with our friends and family. Having someone to talk to or being able to vent can be helpful, especially when we are upset and stressed. However, posting too many details about your life on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media channels after a car accident can be a mistake. When it comes to social media and your car accident, it is better to play it safe and stop posting anything until your personal injury claim is resolved. If you would like more information regarding how to navigate social media and your car accident, contact the Labrum Law Firm for assistance. We can be here for you to protect your rights and help you recover compensation following your car accident. Contact an experienced attorney at (615) 338-9500 to make an appointment for a complimentary case review with a member of our dedicated and compassionate team.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most car crashes happen due to driver error or negligence. If you suffered injuries and financial losses due to another driver's negligence, you deserve compensation and could potentially hold the negligent driver responsible with a claim through their insurance company or with a personal injury lawsuit. However, protecting your legal rights can be extremely important if you want to give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation.
First of all, individuals should seek medical attention immediately after a car accident even if they are not experiencing any major symptoms. Some conditions, for example, traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal organ damage, or internal bleeding can take days or even weeks to appear, according to the Mayo Clinic. Having a medical report can also serve as excellent evidence of a victim's injuries and damages in a lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Contacting an experienced car accident attorney can be an excellent next step for protecting your rights after any car accident. An attorney can advise you on your legal rights and any legal options that may be open to you for recovering damages and compensation following your car accident. An experienced attorney will also be able to advise you regarding why avoiding social media regarding your car accident claim can help ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.
Social Media Can Harm Your Case
There are several ways in which social media can harm your car accident claim even if you are not talking about the accident specifically. Hence, you may be better off refraining from using social media at all while you have a claim pending with an insurance company or a lawsuit pending. Ways in which social media use can potentially harm your claim can include:
Inadvertently Admitting Fault
Even if you are not legally to blame for a crash, comments you make regarding the accident could be interpreted or twisted as admitting some fault. Expect the at-fault party's attorney or any attorneys hired by the insurance company to search for anything they can find that could be used against you, which can include examining your social media activity.
Losing the Protection of Confidentiality
Anything you discuss with your car accident attorney is protected by confidentiality, under attorney-client privilege. However, when you post any details about your accident on social media, they become public information and are now potentially there for all to see. What is even more concerning, consider that social media evidence is admissible by law and can be requested from you by the other party involved in the accident. Evidence can include “private” posts as well as any deleted posts from social media accounts. It can be particularly damaging for your case if you have posted anything regarding:
- Your injuries
- Any details of the accident
- Your mental state
Minimizing a Potential Settlement
If you are claiming damages for permanent injuries, income loss, and reduction of life enjoyment, for example, you may know that posting pictures of hiking the Appalachian Trail or scuba diving in the Caribbean is not a good idea. However, also consider that innocent posts such as attending a party, volunteering, or partaking in a sports event can potentially damage your claim and provide welcome ammunition to the other side. You could severely damage your case for adequate compensation. This can also include any posts your friends or family members make that include you. Consider asking your connections on social media to refrain from tagging you or posting pictures of you during an ongoing lawsuit.
How to Handle Social Media After a Car Crash
Unfortunately, nothing you post on social media remains confidential. It is important to understand that courts can and will admit social media evidence in all types of personal injury cases. The other side may even actively request such evidence from you, including not only public but also private social media posts. Therefore, your best course of action after a car accident can be to stay away from social media completely, at least until any legal action has concluded.
While this can be challenging, especially if social media is the main way you stay in touch with friends and family, consider other ways for social contact such as phone calls or in-person visits. Posting on social media could cost you dearly, especially if you have large medical bills and lost a considerable amount of income during your recovery. Social media posts that hurt your claim could reduce your chances of recovering adequate compensation and potentially leave you with considerable amounts of expenses to pay out of your own pocket.
Do Not Delete Already Created Posts on Social Media
If you have already been active on social media after an accident, do not be tempted to delete any past posts, especially if you are in the middle of a lawsuit. The court can potentially interpret such actions as tampering with evidence. If you want to find out about how to handle social media and your car accident in a way that will not harm your claim, speak to an experienced car accident attorney who can advise you on your best steps.
The Labrum Law Firm Can Help
Car accidents can be painful, traumatic, and costly. Moreover, the stress from dealing with injuries, time away from work, and stacks of paperwork can feel overwhelming. If you want to give yourself the best chance for recovering an adequate settlement from the at-fault driver, you will need to be extremely careful about how you handle social media. We can guide you during this challenging time. The Labrum Law Firm can work tirelessly to help you get justice and the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at (615) 338-9500.