Do you regularly post to social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people in the United States have social media accounts that they use each day. Sharing life events, complaining about traffic, reviewing restaurants, sharing recipes, posting craft ideas, and commenting on news events are just a few of the topics covered on social media. In addition to comments, millions of people upload videos and pictures to their social media accounts each day.
It is no wonder that social media accounts have become evidence in lawsuits, including personal injury lawsuits. As you place more information online, you provide more evidence attorneys can potentially use against you in the event you file an accident claim. Therefore, it is important to understand how social media accounts are used in personal injury cases and the dangers of posting online content when we have an ongoing injury claim.
Personal Injury Claims Are An Adversarial Process
When you file a car accident claim, you are seeking compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages from another party. Therefore, you are in an adversarial position because you are attempting to prove the other party is at fault for the accident and your damages. You must prove fault before you can receive compensation for your injuries.
The insurance company for the other party does everything it can to prove its insured is not at fault to avoid paying your claim. If the insurance company cannot disprove fault, it takes steps to decrease the value of your claim to avoid paying a high settlement amount. The investigator or attorney for the insurance company searches for evidence the company can use to refute your claims. One source of evidence that has become more important in accident claims is social media.
Social Media Accounts Can Be A Landmine In A Car Accident Case
You may believe the information you post online is private. The assumption your social media posts are private is incorrect. When you post something on a public forum, regardless of the privacy settings on your account, you are exposing your information to public use. Anything you post on social media, including blogs, can be a potential landmine for your accident claim. Your posts can potentially be used against you to refute your injury claims.
Furthermore, when you post on social media during an accident case, you put the evidence in a nice little box with a bow on top of it for the defense attorney because each post is time stamped and contains a location. In addition, many posts contain tags that identify potential witnesses the defense could call to testify against you.
The worst-case scenario is that your social media posts “blow up” your injury claim causing your claim to be denied completely. At the very best, social media posts can be used to argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim thereby reducing the value of your accident claim.
Protect Yourself From Social Media Mistakes
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid using social media during the pendency of your accident claim. If you choose to use social media, protect yourself by:
- Increasing your security settings to the highest level
- Avoiding posting pictures of any type
- Asking friends and relatives to leave you out of tags and pictures
- Not commenting on the accident, your injuries, your recovery, or the case
- Not posting about previous injuries or accidents
- Never accepting friend requests from a person you do not know
- Deleting friends who you do not personally know
- Limiting what your friends can share from your account
- Consulting a New Orleans car accident attorney immediately
Call Our New Orleans Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our NoLA car accident attorney can help. Call The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation. You may also contact our office online to ask questions and obtain more information about a New Orleans car accident claim.