Social media plays a role in nearly every aspect of life today. If you’re involved in a car accident, you may find that photos or comments about your accident are circulating before you even make it home. For instance, witnesses to the accident may share photos, local “breaking news” Facebook pages or Twitter accounts may report on the accident. Much of that is outside your control.
But, your own social media activities and those of others involved in the accident can impact your case. Many people never think about the possible impact of their social media posts until it’s too late. There are three key ways your social media posts, pictures and comments can hurt–or even kill–your personal injury claim.
Here’s what you need to know to protect your right to recover fair compensation.
Three Ways Social Media Can Hurt Your Car Accident Injury Case
Social media activity can put your claim at risk from the moment of your accident through your trial. On rare occasions, social media posts after a settlement or verdict may even put your compensation at risk. Your car accident attorney can provide more detailed information. This overview will help you avoid missteps until you retain an attorney.
Talking about Your Accident in Social Media
When you post to social media, you make a statement that can later support or be used to refute your claims. You may not think about the size of your audience, or may think that because you have your account locked down to “friends only,” no one will ever know what you posted. That’s not necessarily true. Assume that anything you post may be discovered by the insurance company on the other side of your case.
You may think that means you should only say things that will support your case. However, if you’re like most people outside the legal field, you don’t really know what will help or hurt your claim. And, common sense doesn’t always yield the right answer. The safest route is not to discuss your accident in any kind of detail on social media, and not to publicly answer questions posed by friends and relatives. In fact, the less you talk about the details of your accident, the better–even offline.
Putting on a Brave Face
When you’ve been in a car accident or otherwise injured, you’ll probably get a lot of attention on social media. Friends and family will be concerned about you, but may not want to intrude while you’re recovering, especially if you were seriously injured. Sending well wishes through social media often feels like the right balance. They can let you know they care without blowing up your phone while you’re resting.
The inclination may be to respond in kind–especially if one post might answer many inquiries. You want to set people’s minds at ease. But, a premature declaration that you’re “fine” or “much better” could be used against you later. Whether you’re putting a positive spin on your condition to ease anxieties or you aren’t yet aware of the full extent of your injuries, the last thing you want is to describe your recovery in the courtroom only to have opposing counsel demand to know why you told the world you were doing great eight months ago.
Just Living Your Life
Not talking about your accident or your recovery in social media can be an adjustment, but avoiding the last pitfall requires even more restraint. Imagine that your doctor says you’re restricted from lifting more than 30 pounds, and that will require you to change careers or retrain for a different job. Then, the defendant’s attorney flashes a photo on the screen. It’s you at your sister’s birthday party last month, and you’re holding your niece…who weighs 43 pounds.
Maybe picking her up hurt and you recognized your error right away. Maybe you can tolerate the weight on rare occasions, but not day-to-day at work. Either way, the door is open. Are you lying about your limitations? Are you ignoring your doctor’s orders and so responsible for aggravating your own condition and slowing your recovery?
Of course, this is just one example of an innocent moment that can be taken out of context and used against you. That’s why it’s to your advantage to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. per
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
When it comes to protecting your rights, knowledge truly is power. The law is complex, and it’s easy for those inexperienced with the legal system to make serious mistakes. The attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas want to ensure that you have the information and the advocacy you need to protect your claim and pursue the maximum available compensation.
You can schedule a free consultation right now by calling 210-225-0909, filling out our contact form or clicking in the lower right corner of this page to chat.
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