While people share all kinds of experiences online, getting into a car accident is one you should keep private. Once you post something on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another app or website, anyone can access – and misinterpret – the words or images you share. If you plan to make an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit, a social media post could even jeopardize your case.
For example, consider you are seeking compensation for your medical bills and physical therapy appointments after a broken arm. If you post a photo of you sitting by the pool, the defendant (or party you are suing) could say you were swimming and cast doubt on your injury – even if you are 100% dry and still wearing your cast.
Similarly, anything you post about the case itself could be used against you in court. The defendant could use a selfie you posted at the scene of the accident as “evidence” that you were using your phone while driving or take your words out of context to suggest fault. If you go on Facebook to vent about how the accident ruined your day, opposing counsel could read your complaints out loud to make you less sympathetic to a judge or jury.
In general, you should never post anything you wouldn’t want to be read out loud in front of a courtroom full of people.
Consider Deactivating Your Accounts
When you are handling an insurance claim or lawsuit, consider logging out of or deactivating your social media accounts so you won’t be tempted to tweet or post. If you do keep your accounts active, make sure they are all set to private and do not accept friend requests or approve followers until your case is closed.
Never discuss your case online, and do not post any details about your injuries or treatment. You should also avoid any posts related to physical activity or travel. This includes post your friends and family members may make. Ask your loved ones not to tag you in any posts or pictures while your case is pending.
Anything you write down or send could be admissible as evidence, so you will also need to be careful with texts and emails. If you want to talk to your friends or family members about anything related to your accident, call them or meet up instead.
What If I’m Worried About My Posts?
If you’ve already posted something to your social media accounts, do not delete it. The information never really disappears, and destroying evidence is illegal. Instead, let your attorney know there’s a post you’re worried about so they can get ahead of it.
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. has been fighting for people like you since 1997, and we have seen all sorts of social media posts and situations. Through it all, we fight for our client’s best interests, and we see every client as an individual.
If you need a firm that will fight for you, call us at (603) 288-1403 today or schedule your free consultation online.