Why You Should Always Avoid Social Media After a Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

Auto accident involving two cars on a city street

No matter how much you enjoy social media, there are times when you should definitely avoid entering this public showcase. One of these times is when you have just been injured in a car accident. While you are recovering, resist the urge to visit social media for personal connection, entertainment, validation, and support since right now social media may very well be your enemy.

Instead of rushing to share information or receive empathy on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, or other social forums, be smart and consult with a skilled car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you file a successful insurance claim for property damage and/or personal injury or may even be able to defend you against charges of negligence. In any case, don’t let a thoughtless social media post interfere with your ability to receive the damages you deserve.

Social Media Exposure Is a Well-Known Source for Legal Evidence

As soon as social media became an integral part of modern life, car accident attorneys and insurance adjusters realized they were a gold mine of legal evidence that could undermine claims of physical harm, emotional distress, and property destruction.

For years, professionals have been combing through social media files to expose inaccuracies, lies and innuendos in order to dispute claims and accuse plaintiffs of insurance fraud. Sadly, in many cases, though postings on social media are easily misinterpreted by observing parties, they may be used as seemingly indisputable evidence in the courtroom

Examples of such postings are readily available and include:

  • Photos of a car accident victim playing sports or engaging in activities
    (like heavy lifting) that contradict claims of serious injury
  • Descriptions of a skiing trip that make claims of torn ligaments questionable
  • Notes to the victim’s friends and family “only minor injuries” occurred and they
    • should not be worried
    • Even if in the last instance you were just trying to spare your loved ones emotional distress
    • by downplaying your injuries, your own words may undermine your case. You needn’t
    • be lying about your physical or emotional well-being to be “caught” in the web of social media interactions.

A photo may have been taken prior to your injury but posted later, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t make the judge or jury suspicious. Even if you win the verdict, without an agile car accident attorney to fight for your rights, your awarded damages may take a hit if the court has even a smidgen of a doubt about your veracity.

It is also important to realize that appeals courts in New York and elsewhere have ruled that the discovery process in car accident claims can include written and photographic evidence that has appeared in “private” social media content. This means that lawyers can request that social content media materials be made available to them and can scan various electronic devices for evidence.

Types of Social Media Evidence that May Be Used at Trial

As technology advances at a remarkably rapid rate, anything posted on social media can be used against you, even if it is posted by someone else. This means that a friend may innocently post a picture of you laughing and drinking that turns out to have been taken shortly before you were involved in a car accident, derailing your version of events that you hadn’t had a drop to drink.

Opposing attorneys and insurance adjusting trying to protect their company’s bottom line

put a great deal of effort into discrediting your claims. Don’t make it easy for them by posting messages or images on social media. Interested parties will almost certainly mine your smartphone, computer, and ipad for any posting, text or email with data relevant to your accident. Professionals advise that (as far as possible) you limit communications about your accident to discussions with your doctor and car accident attorney.

Data Mining Stacks the Cards Even Further Against You

There are always people looking for new career opportunities and, as you might imagine, some of them have come to the conclusion that data mining is a lucrative field. It is not uncommon now for defendants in car accident cases to engage the services of third-party data miners to dig up information that will raise doubts about plaintiffs looking for compensation. This new twist makes it all the more critical that you keep your social media accounts clear of accident information.

Have the Need to Talk About Your Car Accident?

Consult with a well-respected car accident lawyer with a history of success in the courtroom.

Take your attorney’s advice and lay low after your accident. Let your followers remain in the dark for a little while. This will give your lawyer the best chance of strategizing without outside interference and you the best chance of receiving the damages you need and deserve.