After a car accident, there is no doubt that you’ll be feeling a lot of different emotions. You might be angry, scared, sad, or upset, and you’ll likely want to tell people about just what you’ve been through. Worse, you and the other parties may actually be injured and in need of medical attention. Your friends and family in Bowling Green may be watching your social media, but the insurance company may be watching as well.
Regardless of how the accident turned out, it’s important to be careful how and where you choose to share information about your car accident. Will there be negative consequences if you post information about your car accident on social media? Can it affect the outcome of lawsuits related to the accident? What should you know about social media in the aftermath of a car accident? Today, we’ll share everything you need to know about using social media after you’ve been in an accident. At Flora Templeton Stuart, our experienced car accident lawyers always recommend that our clients make their social media accounts private and do not post anything on them until their case is settled.
What’s In This Post:
- Can I post about my car accident on social media?
- What type of information can be found on social media?
- How can I expect my social media posts to be used in an injury lawsuit?
- What type of social media use can hurt my personal injury claim after an accident?
- Will my social media posts affect my emotional distress claims?
- How risky is it to post on social media about my car accident?
If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you should not post on social media about the incident. This is important to ensure that your ability to receive financial compensation is not affected by what the involved parties see on the internet.
To start, Kentucky is a “no-fault” state, meaning that the insurance company that each driver uses will be paying their medical bills up to PIP limits. This occurs no matter who is at fault for the accident. While a driver can opt out of this system for cheaper insurance, this is uncommon, and your insurance company will likely be paying your bills up to $10,000 in PIP.
Why is this important? The key thing to know here is that you must be able to prove that you have damages from the accident. More importantly, the insurance companies will be closely reviewing your claim and working to minimize it in the eyes of the legal system. The more that they can place doubt on the legitimacy of your claim, the less they will have to pay you in the end.
Instead of posting on social media, focus on what needs to be done immediately after the accident happens. This means:
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including all involved cars and any contributing environmental factors. Contributing environmental factors could be anything that may have worsened or caused the accident, like signs, guardrails, or trees, among other things.
- Make sure you exchange contact information with anyone else involved for the insurance companies and other legal parties.
- Contact the police and ensure that the accident has been reported so that it is on the record for legal purposes. Make sure that your statement and any relevant information have also been recorded.
- Seek medical attention as necessary, either immediately after the accident or in the following days (dependent on the severity of injuries and distress).
Once you’ve completed these steps and gotten yourself and your vehicle taken care of, you’ll want to reach out to an attorney. While you have to contact your insurance company in order to begin the claims process, you will want to have your lawyer available to you immediately upon initiating it.
Anything that is publicly available on your social media account can be found by the insurance companies. This means that they can find out who your contacts are, what you’ve been up to through any geographical check-ins, and anything else you’ve been doing based on your personal posts. Older postings and time stamps can also be used for comparison purposes, or even to see what you were up to around the time of the accident. In fact, many insurance companies will even draw on comments made or public replies to messages that may imply that things are not as bad as you are making them out to be.
It’s safe to assume that if you’ve put it up on any social media, that it can be used against you in legal proceedings. Your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms are discoverable, meaning that the other side has a right to see them and deleting posts/content can be destruction of evidence.
Unfortunately, all social media posts that you’ve made about the accident, and even ones that aren’t about the accident, can be used against you. This is really important when it comes to major injuries. If you were able to post on social media at the time of the accident, then it is likely that will be used to point to the fact that you are not as seriously injured as you may be claiming. Posts can be about you being on vacation or activities that seem to show you are not hurt.
Additionally, you need to be careful about your social media posts in the period not long after the accident, as this can also impact your claims. Remember, you will be going up against an insurance company or party at-fault during the claims process, and they will be very experienced in being able to gather evidence and make assertions about your physical, mental, and emotional state after the accident.
Any type of social media use that could be damaging to your personal injury claim is going to be a problem. This means anything from posting about your workout soon after the accident to sharing a photo of you after a boat ride. Be careful of how you are characterizing yourself through your social media. If you are claiming to have a major injury that is significantly affecting your life, then your social media should also be reflective of this.
Similar to physical injury, your emotional distress claims can easily be weakened by your posts on social media. It is natural for people to want to post about how happy they are or how well their life is going on social media. When you are in the midst of making a claim for emotional distress, these types of posts will be very damaging. Keep in mind that any opportunity to damage your credibility will be used against you, even in postings that seem to be innocent. For example, if you said “I’m doing okay,” in a social media status after your accident, this can be used to weaken your emotional distress claim.
It is incredibly risky to post on social media after your car accident, and there are really no positives that can come from it. It is important to remember that regardless of what your claim is, the insurance company or the other party’s attorney will be seeking out any reason they can to lessen it, and give you a smaller payout. You don’t want to jeopardize your own ability to recover from the accident due to your online presence.
The best advice is to stay off social media completely until your claims process is complete. If you can disable your accounts completely, this is a great option to protect yourself. When your social media accounts are unavailable to the insurance companies, there will be little to no information available for them to turn against you. If you don’t feel like you can disable your accounts, try to stop posting completely, or at least minimize what personal information you are sharing. This will help ensure your claim continues to appear legitimate throughout the legal process.
Don’t jeopardize your accident claim with social media activity. Hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you navigate the legal process.
The experience of a car accident is an incredibly stressful one, regardless of how serious your injuries and overall damages are. Social media is not your friend when it comes to a car accident, so steering clear of it is the right choice until your claims are settled. However, choosing an experienced lawyer to help you manage the post-accident legal process will help you get through it.
Our team at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers is dedicated to helping residents of Bowling Green, Kentucky with their personal injury claims as they relate to motor vehicle accidents. We are very experienced in serving the best interests of accident victims, working to ensure that they get the claims’ settlement they deserve. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to our team to schedule a consultation today.