Why Posting on Social Media After an Accident Can Hurt Your Case
Social media is a tool that helps us connect with others. It’s also a way to share our thoughts, fears, and triumphs. After a car accident, your first instinct may be to post about the incident online. After all, a car accident is a traumatic event, and searching for support and understanding among online friends and family seems only natural in today’s digital world. Unfortunately, posting absolutely anything about the accident online can impact you in negative ways.
At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we are big proponents of staying offline after an accident. We want to share some of the many ways that a social media post could wreck your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
The Information You Post Online Can and Will Be Used Against You
There are many dangers related to posting about a car accident online. One of the biggest dangers is that you could be accused of fraud. Insurance adjusters will sift through social media pages looking for information about you and the accident. Your online account of the accident and any corresponding pictures can be used against you by the insurer.
Why? Simply because insurance companies are for-profit companies. Their mission is to keep profits high and payouts low. If your online post differs in any way from the account that you gave the insurer, then an insurer could try to claim that you are committing fraud and deny your claim. That might be an extreme example, but it does happen. Insurers will want an official statement from you after a collision. If your account is accidentally missing details, which you then provide in an online post, the validity of your claim can be damaged.
Consider even the simple words, “At least I am okay.” You may be counting your blessings that you are alive and well, even though you suffered serious injuries. However, an insurer can take this as an admission that you are uninjured and refuse to pick up the tab for your medical expenses. You can begin to see how the most innocent-sounding phrases can be twisted in ways that diminish the value of your claim. The same is true if you are involved in a car accident and post a picture of yourself on a ski trip the following week. This picture can present the image that you are unharmed. Therefore, you are in no need of medical compensation for your injuries.
Will an Attorney or Insurance Adjuster Find My Social Media Accounts?
Yes. If you are involved in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, an attorney or insurer will most certainly be scrutinizing your social media accounts. Your words, photos, and videos can all be used as evidence, and companies will attempt to hunt this evidence down for their benefit. It is not at all hard for them to find your digital footprint. The information they can take away from your accounts may end up saving them a great deal of money.
Remember, what gets put online, stays online. It is risky and naïve to believe that your social media presence is strictly private, even if you employ privacy settings.
Social Media Rules After a Car Accident
The number one rule that you must follow after being involved in a car accident is to never post anything about the incident on social media. It is important to ask friends and family to do the same. If possible, do not post anything online for a while. Go radio silent until after your case has settled. That is the best way to keep a tight lid on the flow of information. You may also want to consider the following:
- Be cautious using online “check-ins.” Avoid them if possible.
- Do not accept new friend requests.
- Do not share medical information online.
- Never post photos of the crash, the damage, or your injuries.
- Set your accounts to private.
Finally, if you have already made the mistake of posting about the accident online, don’t make the mistake worse by deleting your post. Chances are, your post has already been seen by those looking for it. Deleting your post can be seen as destruction of evidence and may potentially land you in even more trouble.
Again, it is always safest to avoid posting anything online. If the temptation is too much to handle, go dark and disable or deactivate your accounts. You may reactive them when a settlement is reached. It may sound extreme, but it could save you from losing out on extremely valuable compensation.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Car Accident Attorney
The final piece of advice we have to offer you is this, contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. The Lake Charles car accident lawyers of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC can take on the responsibility of managing communication between you and the insurer. We can also help support you through your social media diet and work towards recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
For a free case evaluation, call our office today at 337-800-8800.