Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become a common way for people of all ages to communicate and express themselves. Millions of individuals post detailed information, such as photos, personal opinions, and highlights of their lives without realizing the risks it poses. Social media mistakes can even impact the ability to collect compensation in a personal injury claim.
After being involved in a car accident, it can be tempting to share the incident with friends and family on various social media sites. However, doing so can be a big mistake, as lawyers and insurance companies may be scoping out your social media profiles. This is especially the case if you are missing work because of a car accident. Posting photos of a fun night out or a weekend trip can damage your credibility as to whether your injuries are serious enough to warrant the compensation for which you are filing. If you are involved in a car accident, it is advisable to put all of your social media accounts on private mode.
How Can Information Be Used Against Me?
Any posts or photos may unintentionally provide information that seems inconsistent with your injuries, such as a simple picture that shows you looking happy and healthy. Attorneys and claim adjusters might argue that you are getting on with your life as usual and are exaggerating your injuries.
Under Pennsylvania law, both the insurance company and defense counsel have the right to demand access to social media accounts to gather any evidence that is relevant to the case. This includes photos, videos, timeline conversations, and location check-ins. Anything you post and say can be used against you.
What Kinds of Posts Can Be Damaging?
Photos depicting your physical injuries and any damage to your vehicle can be used to contradict elements of your claim. However, it does not matter whether the information you post directly involves your accident or not. Even information posted on social media before the car accident may be discovered and used by defense counsel to argue that you drove distracted and may have been partially responsible for the crash.
Other strategies often employed by opposing representatives include looking for photos of you out dancing with friends or on vacation with family shortly after the car accident. Defense counsel and insurance companies can use these photos as evidence that your injuries are not limiting enough to merit the damages you are seeking.
It is not necessary that your friends on social media receive daily updates on your medical condition or anything else related to your car accident. Detailed posts are regularly used by insurance companies, lawyers, and judges to poke holes in plaintiffs’ version of events.
What Should I Do About Information I Already Posted?
Once you post something live on social media, it is unethical for you to delete it or for your attorney to suggest the same. It can potentially be considered destruction of evidence. The best thing to do is suspend all online social media activity as soon as possible after a car accident and your decision to file a lawsuit.
It is also important to remember that while you may not post about your car accident, others might post things about you. Keep an eye out for any photos you may be tagged in, and let your friends know in advance that you do not want to be included in their posts. It is also important to refrain from commenting on other people’s social media sites.
If you have been injured in a car accident and have questions about the influence of social media, be sure to contact an experienced lawyer. Many motorists suffer severe injuries from car accidents every year in Pennsylvania. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss liability and all possible claims.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Advocate for Injured Car Accident Survivors
Our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. have a reputation for providing skilled legal services. To learn more and to schedule an initial consultation, call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.