Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2016 at 2:52 am
Have you been injured in a personal injury accident? Do you have a pending accident claim against the other party for damages? If you are trying to recover compensation for an accident, using social media accounts may impair your ability to receive a full settlement for your claim. Insurance companies and their attorneys are using information found on social media websites against accident victims to decrease the value of the accident claim. Regrettably, many accident victims do not know how much harm they can do to their case with a single social media post.
What Is The Insurance Company Looking For In Your Social Media Account?
The insurance company or the attorney for the negligent party is searching for any scrap of information in can use to convince a jury you are lying or, in the very least, exaggerating the serious of your injury. If the insurance company can prove that your injury is not as severe as you claim, it can decrease the value of your claim. If the insurance company can prove you are lying about your injury, it can deny your claim. Unfortunately, a jury may not care about the true story behind a post; the jurors may choose to believe the “story” the defense spins about the post.
Is It Legal For The Defense To Look At My Social Media Accounts?
When you post something on the internet, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy because you are willingly posting information on a public platform. Regardless of the privacy settings on your social media account, you are choosing to post personal information on the internet. Therefore, if another person obtains this information by searching the internet, it is perfectly legal for that person to use the information in a court case. In some cases, courts have ordered accident victims to release their social media information to the defense.
How Can My Social Media Posts Be Used Against Me?
Because there as so many ways using social media after an accident can harm your case, it is impossible to review them all in a blog post. However, below are a few of the most common mistakes we see regarding social media and accident claims.
- Posting Pictures – Pictures are a “snapshot” of an event in your life. While pictures do speak volumes, the message is not always clear. You may see one thing, but a juror may see another thing. Because pictures can be easily misconstrued, it is best to avoid posting any pictures during an accident claim.
- Checking In – It is popular for people to “check in” on social media to let their family and friends know where they are and what they are doing. However, this can be damaging. Again, it is easy to misunderstand a situation. Even though you may be in severe pain, you went to church this morning. The insurance company may argue that if you are well enough to attend church, you are well enough to sit at a desk in your office to work.
- Venting – Venting about your accident, your injuries, and your recovery can be dangerous. You share more information than you intend to share if you are angry and frustrated. You can easily say something that can be used against you while you are venting your frustration and anger over being injured in an accident.
If you choose to use social media after an accident, take precautions to reduce the risk of damage to your claim by:
- Using the highest security settings for your account
- Avoid posting pictures and “checking in”
- Do not discuss your accident, injuries, or recovery
- Ask friends and family not to tag you in posts or posts pictures of you
Call A Sacramento Accident Attorney
For more information about social media and accidents, call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000. You can also chat with a representative on our website. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys offer free legal consultations to accident victims and their families.