Can My Social Media Account Be Used Against Me in a Civil Court Case?
Should I Talk About My Car Accident on Social Media?
Many of us stay connected to friends, family members and others through online social media accounts. This allows us to keep people informed about what is happening in our lives and stay in touch. When you are involved in a car accident, it is common to be shaken up. You may be tempted to take to social media and share your experience with others and describe your injuries. At the time, you may not be considering how your post can affect your car accident claim. But if you are not careful, you may find that your settlement or lawsuit is negatively affected.
How Does Social Media Impact My Car Accident Lawsuit?
In determining whether a case should settle or proceed to trial, it is common for lawyers and other people working for the various parties to look for evidence that suggests the other party is not credible or is not being forthcoming. A careless social media post can be used by the insurance company of the at-fault driver to undercut your accident claim. Depending on you have written on social media, the other side may twist your words to suggest:
- You were in fact at fault in causing the accident;
- Your own negligent conduct contributed to your injuries;
- Your injuries are not as serious or severe as you claim;
- You are not a credible or truthful witness.
While it is not necessary that you forgo any social media activity after an Atlanta car accident, you should be very mindful of what you do post to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Your Atlanta car accident attorney can help you decide whether a planned update is hurtful to your case and legal interests.
What Should I Not Post After a Car Accident?
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow us to share updates and information with others in near real-time. We can be involved in an Atlanta car accident at 1 p.m. and be telling our friends and acquaintances an hour later. But what you post immediately after an accident and in the days and weeks that follow can cause serious harm to any future claim or lawsuit for damages you may bring. To protect your legal rights to compensation, you should avoid posting:
- Statements that may indicate you were at fault in causing the accident;
- Admissions of negligent conduct (i.e., do not post a statement indicating you are drunk, that you are going to engage in a speed exhibition, or other similar activity);
- Descriptions of your injuries or diagnoses, even if you have already seen your doctor. You may get your diagnosis wrong and admit to injuries that are less severe than the injuries you have, or your doctor’s initial diagnosis may change as more symptoms appear;
- Photographs of your injuries or damage to your car, especially ones that do not depict the true extent of your damages or injuries; and
- Updates about where you intend to go and/or what you intend to do after the car accident, especially if you are claiming your injuries are severe or impacting your ability to enjoy life or engage in other activities.
If you are uncertain about whether you ought to post information, or photograph, you should refrain from doing so until you have had an opportunity to speak with a car accident attorney. He or she can review your intended post and advise you as to how that post or update may impact your legal rights.
Do Claims Adjustors Really Look Over My Social Media Account?
Not only do claims adjustors review your social media accounts and other online postings after a Georgia car accident, but in some cases they are able to bypass security or privacy settings you may have. This enables the claims adjustor to look at your social media account even if you have not explicitly given them permission to do so.
To understand why a claims adjustor would be interested in your social media account, you must understand what a claims adjustor’s job involves. A claims adjustor is tasked with one main objective: settling your claim for as little money as possible. After all, an insurance company cannot turn a profit for its shareholders if it pays out more in claims than it takes in through premiums. Your social media account can provide the claims adjustor with valuable information he or she needs in order to deny your claim or reduce the amount of compensation the insurance company will pay to you. This is why it is important to be very careful about what you post following your Atlanta car accident.
How Can Social Media Use After Car Accidents or Other Accidents Impact My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Social media posts and updates that suggest that you were at fault can be used to reduce or deny your lawsuit, and photographs and status updates that are not in keeping with your claimed injuries can be used to suggest you are not truthful or credible. Again, you should be very careful about what you post after a car accident and or other type of personal injury accident and consult with your Georgia personal injury lawyer before posting status updates, photographs or other similar information.
The experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys at The Millar Law Firm can advise and direct you in the days and weeks following a car accident or personal injury accident so as to maximize your opportunity for recovering full compensation and helping you avoid taking actions and making statements that negatively impact your legal rights. Contact our dedicated car accident legal team today at (404) 620-4378 to discuss your Atlanta car accident case.