Many of us post things on social media numerous times each day. Using social media to communicate with friends and family members and post pictures is an integral part of our lives.
However, social media posts could hurt the value of a car accident claim, particularly posts made after the crash or after the claim is filed. Even though using social media may be an integral part of the victim’s life, he or she may need to limit his or her posts or stop posting during the legal process.
Below, our experienced attorneys discuss how to be cautious when posting things on social media after being injured in a car crash. If you have any questions about what to do after a car crash, you can call Schmidt Kramer to schedule a free legal consultation. Our Harrisburg-based vehicle accident lawyers work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees. There are also no obligations after meeting with us.
Staying Off Social Media During Your Claim
If you want to try to eliminate the possibility of your social media posts being used against you, you could simply stay off social media until a settlement or verdict is reached. It is important to note the insurance company may pry into your old social media posts to find information they may try to use against you. However, they may be unsuccessful without newer social media posts to compare against older posts.
Whether you continue posting or not, you should use the privacy settings on your social media accounts. These settings do not guarantee complete privacy, but they can be helpful in limiting access to your accounts.
Even if you do not post anything, be careful about accepting friend requests. Do not accept requests from people you do not know. Insurance companies may pose as someone else in hopes you will accept their friend request so they can go through your old posts.
While there are steps you can take to help protect your claim when posting on social media, you might not want to even take the risk. Think about the cost versus the benefit. A social media post is unlikely to benefit you financially, but it could hurt you by lowering the value of your claim.
Using Caution if You Continue Posting to Social Media
There are some rules you should follow if you continue to post things on social media while your lawyer pursues car accident compensation.
Do Not Discuss the Crash
There are a variety of problems with discussing the crash on social media. For example, you could say something that contradicts previous statements you made, such as statements made to police, the other driver, or the insurance company. These statements could hurt your credibility or be used to claim you are partially or fully at fault for what happened.
You could downplay the severity of the crash. Simply saying the crash was not that bad or it could have been much worse makes it seem like everything is fine. The insurance company may use that as a reason to devalue your claim.
Do Not Discuss Your Injuries
You may be making steady progress recovering from your injuries. Maybe your treatment is helping to mitigate pain and other symptoms and allowing you to increase your physical activity.
However, posts about the progress of your treatment could be used to devalue your claim. Posts that talk about how well treatment is going give the insurance company a reason to say you are not injured or your injuries are minor. They may even say you have been faking it.
Posts saying you are really hurting and have been significantly injured could be used to say you are simply trying to inflate the value of your claim. The insurance company may say something similar about posts describing the high cost of your treatment.
Do Not Post Pictures of Physical Activity or Get-Togethers with Friends
Your treatment may be working quite well, and you may be feeling much better. Maybe your doctor is allowing you to resume exercising or other physical activities you once enjoyed. Maybe you are feeling so much better that you can go out to dinner with some friends or have a get-together at a friend’s house.
It is tempting to want to post pictures while you are engaging in these activities. Maybe you have discussed your situation with friends and family members offline and want to let people know how well you are doing.
However, pictures and statements about you out having fun or working out can do serious damage to the value of your claim. The insurance company may say you are fine and cannot claim compensation for ongoing treatment or other damages you may suffer in the future. You want to avoid any posts that make it look like you are not injured.
Do Not Post Anything That Sounds Like an Apology
It is possible you are partially at fault for the crash. Maybe you were driving a little too fast or were slightly distracted. Even if your attorney determines you were partially to blame, the other driver’s negligence still played a significant role in causing the crash.
While you may feel a need to apologize for what happened, it is best not to do this on social media. Apologies or admissions of fault could give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim.
It is important to remember you may be wrong about your role in the crash. Maybe nothing you did contributed to what happened. You only saw so much of the crash. It is important to let the investigation play out and allow your attorney to determine what role you played in the crash, if any.
Even a statement like “I wrecked my car” could be used to say an accident was your fault. It is best to avoid this entire issue if you post anything related to the crash.
Do Not Delete Posts
You may second-guess yourself and think you need to delete a previous post. However, the insurance company may already have a screenshot of it. Deleting posts could be considered destruction of evidence. At the very least, deleting a post makes you look bad. It makes it look like you may have something to hide.
Tell Friends and Family Members to Avoid Posts About You
Make sure to tell your friends and family members not to post things about your claim or your injuries. They may want to talk about how well your recovery is going. They may also want to say they warned you to be careful when driving or that you reinjured yourself. They may mean no harm, but posts like these could do significant damage to the value of your claim.
Tell friends and family members you are trying to protect your claim. If they have things to say to you about your injuries, tell them to tell you offline.
Schmidt Kramer Helps Crash Victims. Call Today for Assistance
One of the most important things crash victims need to do is find an experienced attorney to help them pursue maximum compensation. The insurance company is likely going to look for any excuse to deny or devalue your claim. You need an experienced advocate in your corner who will fight for full compensation for your damages.
Our firm has been securing compensation for car crash victims for decades and there are no upfront fees for our services. We know how to validate a claim and build a strong case. We are also prepared and have the resources to counter the insurance company’s attempts to avoid accountability.
Schedule a free consultation today. Call (717) 727-1403.