Five Ways That Social Media Can Be Detrimental to Your Auto Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you should take a moment to reflect on your social media usage. You may feel like sharing your experience with your “friends,” but your posts on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other popular sites could come back to haunt you. Here are just five ways that social media could be detrimental to your injury claim:
- Images can give the wrong impression — If you’re claiming to be hurt, pictures that show you enjoying everyday activities can give the impression you’re feeling fine. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall and are claiming disc damage and debilitating pain in your lower back, a video of you dancing at your daughter’s wedding won’t help your case. You may have needed six Vicodin to get out of bed and you may be wearing a heavy brace under your tuxedo, but all the jury will see is you smiling with evident pride, enjoying the moment.
- Statements can hint at fault — Innocent statements can sound like admissions. If you post, “Why did I get on I-95 today?” a reader could discern regret on your part that suggests you might be at fault. In states like North Carolina and Virginia, which have harsh contributory negligence statutes, even a small amount of blame can bar you from recovering any compensation.
- Unsympathetic statements can prejudice your case — The jury has to like you. If you are (understandably) angry at an insurance company dragging out your case rather than offering a reasonable settlement, feel free to vent, just not publicly. Statements such as “I can’t wait to get those [blankety-blanks] in court and take them for all they’re worth!” are not going to create a sympathetic image for you.
- Your post can show your accident hasn’t slowed you down any — If you continue to post often and engage with your contacts as though nothing has happened, it’s difficult to make the case your life has been disrupted. Apps that track your whereabouts can be especially problematic, since posting your comings and goings can give the impression you’re just as active as ever.
- You risk protection for confidential information — You are entitled to confidential communications with your attorney and your medical providers. But if you make a public statement about those communications, the substance of your statement can be used against you in court. For this reason, you should not accept new friend requests while your case is active. Those folks who are suddenly so curious about you might be working for the defendant.
Every legal case requires discipline when it comes to messaging. When messages leak, contradicting the narrative your attorney is attempting to put forward, your case can be damaged irreparably.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represents clients in personal injury cases throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience. Call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.