Social media is a part of everyday life for people across the country and across almost all age groups. According to a Pew Research Center study, seven out of ten people use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others to communicate and share information with friends and family. It’s important to note that posting anything after an accident could potentially put your injury claim at risk.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, you should avoid social media. Instead, contact Virginia Beach injury lawyer Scott R. Barney, Esq. at Barney Injury Law for help avoiding costly social media mistakes that could jeopardize your injury claim. If you are wondering why posting to social media could be used against you, read more here:
Posting to Social Media Is Risky if You Have an Active Injury Claim
Anything you post or do, including “just looking,” can give insurance companies and defense attorneys valuable evidence to deny or fight your claim.
Using social media after an accident can:
- Damage your credibility and ruin your reputation
- Raise questions about your portion of fault in the accident
- Raise questions about your injuries
- Limit the damages you may recover; and
- Cancel confidentiality protections for some of your information
Is the Information I Post to Social Media Private?
Never assume that information you post is private. Assume the opposite: that anything you post about your accident can and will be used against you.
Using the privacy settings on your social media accounts is the best practice before and after an accident. But this does NOT keep insurance companies and defense attorneys from legally discovering your information.
They hire data miners who scan and monitor your accounts 24/7. They can find out more about you from your activity than you might be aware. Unfortunately, it is not just your posts that can hurt you. Simply logging on from a certain location and at certain times could potentially harm your claim.
What You Can Do (And What You Should Not Do) on Social Media After an Accident
Here are some things you should do to protect your claim after an accident:
- Set your social media accounts to “private” and consider inactivating them until your claim is settled.
- Remind your friends and family not to mention or tag you on social media.
- Use h2 privacy settings for active accounts to stop others from tagging you in any images or mentioning you.
- Say “no” to new “friend” requests after your accident.
Also — and this is equally important — do not delete any of your posts. If you delete something, that is considered spoliation (destroying evidence), and it will be discovered and can hurt you and your claim. It makes you look bad to a jury if your case goes to trial, and it is illegal.
Bottom line: do not post to any of your profiles if you have an active injury claim.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Things that you post could complicate your injury claim. Just as your attorney will likely look at the other party’s social media accounts for information that might help your case, the other side will likely be looking at your accounts as well. Consult with your attorney on how to use social media while your claim is active. Your attorney can also use legal discovery tools to:
- Demand documents, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other posts
- Inspect electronic records,
- Question witnesses under oath about statements made on personal accounts; and
- Get the other driver to answer written questions (interrogatories)
Why Choose Barney Injury Law?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the Virginia Beach car accident lawyer at Barney Injury Law has the experience you need on your side to protect yourself and your injury claim. When you hire us, we’ll be able to advise you on the activities you should engage in and those you would be wise to avoid while your injury claim is active. We’ll be ready to stand up and fight for you when you call us at (757) 965-7200 or reach out to us online for a free consultation.