For better or worse, social media has become so ingrained in our daily lives that it is almost impossible to avoid. Even people without active social accounts still see active feeds from social media accounts on the news, sports broadcasts, and other programs.
Computer-mediated technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and the many other platforms give us a way to stay connected with family and friends across great distances. They let us share jokes, stories, and photos with those who are close to us and want to stay active in our lives.
Unfortunately, that very connectedness may be used as a weapon against you if you have been involved in a car accident. Insurance investigators and the other driver’s lawyers may look for any evidence that can be used to diminish your claim.
It may surprise you to find out that insurance companies now have established policies and procedures in place for investigating a person’s social media accounts for evidence that could allow them to restrict or reject your claim outright.
A few ways that social media could be used against you in a personal injury case include:
- Comments you make online following an accident. Even if the accident was not your fault, if you post something online saying: “I had no idea what was happening!” or “I was going so fast, I didn’t see him coming!” the insurance company’s investigators may use those posts against you as evidence that the accident may have been your fault.
- Photos that imply you are not as hurt as you claim. Pictures online often do not tell the whole story, and investigators or opposing counsel may use pictures of you in social situations (playing in the pool, hiking with friends, etc.) as evidence that you are not really “injured.” This can be difficult, especially if you are just trying to piece your life back together with the support of family and friends. Avoid posting photos after an accident to ensure your activities are not taken out of context.
- Discussing details of your claim. As a general rule, it is important not to divulge too many details of the case, and it is not a good idea to badmouth the insurance company or another party online. Even though you may be frustrated following an accident, it is best to keep a clear head and keep from venting on social media. The insurance company may argue that you are no longer negotiating in “good faith” and will halt the negotiation process altogether, weakening your leverage in the claims process.
- Posting too frequently. This may seem odd, but it makes sense when you consider that frequent posting and participation on social media may be a sign that you are not suffering from emotional trauma or distress. If you post frequently and are constantly “liking” other people’s posts, engaging in friendly discussion, and generally participating as any healthy person would, these actions may be a signal that you are not truly suffering following an accident.
While it may be difficult for some of us to refrain from using social media, even for a short while, it is always a good idea to be aware of how the use of social media may be used against you in a personal injury case. By limiting or refraining from posting completely, as well as setting your accounts to private and not accepting new followers, you can help prevent the insurance company or other side’s attorneys from using information taken out of context against you.
Get Help After a Car Accident in Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina
If you have been injured in a serious car accident, let us help you protect your rights. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the expenses you incur as a result of the accident and for pain and suffering. Contact our team today to set up a free legal consultation. We proudly represent victims throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, including the communities of Spartanburg, Greenville, Waynesville, Franklin and Asheville.