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How Social Media Can Impact Your Car Accident Claim

Posted in Car Accidents,Car Insurance Claims on August 1, 2020

Social media plays an important and constant role in the life of many Americans. In fact, approximately 80% of the United States population had a social media profile in 2019. This adds up to about 247 million social media users. Not only do users have social media accounts, they also use them regularly. Data shows that 75% of Facebook users and 60% of Instagram users visit the social media site at least once a day. An average social media users spends almost two and a half hours on social media each day.

Social media has become such a pervasive part of life that sometimes we forget to stop and think before we post. If you are in a car accident, your first instinct might be to snap a picture and post it on social media. While this might feel innocuous, it can have a large and often detrimental impact on your recovery.

Read on to understand the effect social media can have on recovery for injuries after a car accident.

The Dangers of Posting on Social Media after a Car Accident

Social media posting can have two main impacts on your claim for recovery. Posts can be taken out of context and used to (1) prove that you were responsible for the accident; (2) diminish your claim that your injuries have negatively impacted your life.

Proving Fault

In order to recovery for your injuries after a car accident, you will need to prove that another party acted negligently or intentionally in a way that caused your injuries. In a car accident, a violation of a traffic law or regulation is compelling evidence of negligence.

Even with strong evidence of the other party’s negligence, a social media post can undercut your case. Imagine if you posted a picture of your damaged car with the caption “I guess I should have been more careful today!” The other party will argue that this is an admission of your fault for the accident due to lack of care.

The negligent party will be looking for any opportunity to push the blame for the accident back on to you. Don’t help them by posting on social media.

Undermining Injuries

As part of your case, you will be required to prepare a comprehensive damages assessment comprised of the monetary impact of your injuries. Not only will this include straightforward amounts like medical expenses and property damage, a damages claim also includes the following:

  • Lost Wages: Your injuries may require you to miss work, work reduced hours, or perform light work. Any lost wages are included in your damages claim. If your injuries limit your ability to work in the future, you will also include your future lost earnings.
  • Emotional Distress: A car accident can leave the victim with long term emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This injury should be included in a damages claim.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: If your injuries leave you unable to participate in activities that previously served an important role in your life, this loss is an important component of your recovery.

With the above damages in mind, consider the following scenarios:

  • You are a construction worker, and your injuries limit your ability to perform the physical labor required for your job. You post a picture of you holding a shovel with the caption “Happy to help my friends landscape their yard!” This undermines your claim that you are unable to perform physical labor due to your injuries and will limit your ability to seek recovery.
  • The car accident has left you suffering from depression. You post a picture showcasing a huge smile and the caption “Living my best life! I’ve never felt so good!” This is evidence that would directly contradict your claim of depression. While you could argue that the post wasn’t truthful, it is still negative evidence.
  • You were an avid athlete, and your injuries have left you unable to participate in sports. This loss is a pivotal component of your loss of enjoyment claim for damages. You make a social media post checking in to the gym with the statement, “Happy to be getting back into sports. I’ve missed them!” This evidence won’t look good if it is presented to a jury.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you deserve full recover for your injuries. Don’t set yourself back by posting in social media.

Understanding the Visibility of Social Media Posts

Social media is increasingly about ensuring that everyone can view your content, not just close friends and family. Social media companies also like your data to be as publicly available as possible. For this reason, privacy settings are not fully utilized.

If you don’t have your privacy settings strictly locked down, there is a chance others will see your social media content. Even if you do have strict privacy settings, the other party could attempt to demand social media records during the discovery phase of the trial.

You should proceed with the assumption that your social media activity will become publicly available. When in doubt, don’t post. This includes any commentary on the case or about the defendant. Consult with your attorney to understand parameters for appropriate social media posting.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

Dealing with the many responsibilities and demands on your time that arise after a car accident can be overwhelming. These demands can leave you distracted and cause you to lose sight of the importance of monitoring your social media postings.

The team at the Law Offices of John W. Redmann, LLC make advocating for their clients their top priority. This includes assisting with all aspects of the case. In addition to analyzing the strength of the case, collecting evidence, reviewing settlement offers, and filing court documents, our attorneys will provide you practical guidance about your social media presence throughout the case.

We work with each of our client to understand the specifics of their case in order to deliver the best possible results. Contact us today at (504) 500-5000 or on our website to schedule a free consultation.