While social media has become a regular fixture in most of our lives, there are certain details that just shouldn’t be made public, such as the details of a car accident.
You see, posting about your car accident on social media, including seemingly innocuous or innocent details, can be seriously damaging to your claim, even if there are no serious injuries sustained and you only pursue compensation for property damage.
Read on to learn four ways posting about your car accident on social media can harm your claim for damages.
#1 - You may unintentionally disrupt your case’s confidentiality.
As you may know, confidential information is of the utmost importance in legal cases. When you speak with your attorney about your case, you are legally entitled to total confidentiality. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your case’s details will only remain confidential if you solely share them with your attorney and no one else.
By posting the details of your car accident on social media, you are giving up valuable information that is better kept private until after the case has concluded. Social media is considered part of the public domain, so anything you post becomes public.
To avoid relinquishing your case’s confidentiality, it is critical that you avoid sharing any details of the crash, including:
- The circumstances of the accident,
- The condition of your physical health,
- Any medical ailments you suffer from, and
- How you are feeling.
If you share these details on social media, the confidentiality protections you are entitled to that prevent the other party from obtaining this information are no longer valid.
#2 - Your online statements may be misinterpreted as an admission of fault.
It is human nature to want to apologize when something bad happens, even if you had no hand in causing the unfavorable incident. However, saying sorry after a car accident is often seen as an admission of fault in the eyes of the insurance company.
Making an apology on social media is even more damaging to your claim because the evidence of it is preserved for others to see later and use against you.
You can be certain that the other party’s defense will comb through your statements online to see if you’ve said anything about the crash, and they will not hesitate to use anything they find to prove their case.
Seemingly harmless comments such as, “There was no way for me to stop,” or “I couldn’t see them coming,” give the other party ammunition against you as they can say that you contributed to causing the injuries you sustained in the crash.
This is important to consider regarding the modified comparative negligence rule in Texas. This rule states that you may pursue compensation for damages even if you share a portion of the blame for the crash. However, you must keep in mind that if you are deemed to share more than 50% of the blame for the accident, you will be unable to recover any damages at all.
#3 - Using social media too frequently during your recovery can be seen as nothing is wrong and you are fine.
Even if you don’t post anything about the accident on social media and you avoid making posts about going out with friends and family to have fun, the defense can still use this to undermine your case.
You see, the other party may try to argue your overall heightened activity level on social media proves that you aren’t in as much physical or psychological turmoil as you claim. They may try to say you are exaggerating your injuries because you are too upbeat or typical in your day-to-day activities.
While this likely sounds absurd as injured people are often using the internet more frequently while in recovery, it is still something you should be prepared for because the other party will do everything possible to reduce the success of your case.
#4 - Any physical activities or moments of joy you share can be perceived as an exaggeration of your injuries.
Recovering from the injuries sustained in a serious car accident can be a lengthy and grueling process, and you deserve to have moments of positivity throughout your healing journey. Going out to a sporting event with friends and family or to a speakeasy with your partner may be something that eases the burden of your pain just enough to keep you hanging on.
Unfortunately, any moments of happiness or rejoice you share on social media can be used by the defense against your case to state that you are exaggerating how much you are actually suffering and in pain.
It is irrelevant that your social media post only tells a small portion of the full picture. Even though you may have been battling the pain throughout the entire event, this element won’t be documented on social media, so it can look like you weren’t in as much pain as you claimed to be.
You should expect the other party to use these details against you in an attempt to undermine your case.
Avoid Using Social Media As Much As Possible Following a Car Crash
Car accident cases can be very costly, and the last thing you want to do is post something on social media that can damage your claim. The best thing to do is refrain from using social media at all until after your case has come to an end.
It may be challenging to stay off your favorite social media platforms, but it is in your best interest to do so. You may begin to feel lonely, frustrated, and disconnected from others, but it’s critical to consider how upset you’d be if your activity on social media harmed your case and cost you a considerable amount of money in potential losses that are necessary to pay your medical bills and other costs.
It Doesn’t Matter If Your Profile Is Set To Private
When it comes to a lawsuit, your social media privacy settings are not considered. It has consistently been decided by the courts that you cannot expect any level of privacy when posting on social media.
Anything on social media—including “private” content and direct messages to specific users that are never intended to be viewed by others—can be considered evidence in a lawsuit. When it comes to a car accident, there are no levels of security settings on your account that will allow you to safely post on social media.
If It’s Too Late, Don’t Delete the Content
If you already have made social media posts about the crash and now you feel remorse after reading this, it is critical that you DO NOT delete the content. This can be seen as tampering with evidence, particularly if the other party’s defense has already submitted a discovery request for access to your social media pages.
You may face serious consequences for this, so it’s best to leave your social media pages alone and contact a skilled car accident attorney immediately to discuss the details of your case.
We’re Here To Help Injured Accident Victims
Sustaining injuries in a car accident—especially one that occurs through no fault of your own—can be a traumatic and devastating experience to endure. If this has happened to you, you may be owed compensation for your losses.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm right away if you have any questions. We have helped many other people in similar situations and we will do everything in our power to fight on your behalf as well.
Call our firm today at (512) 400-3278 or fill out the online contact form to learn more about your legal options.