For billions of people, social media is a part of daily life. It might start with a quick post on Facebook or updating your Instagram with a recent picture. Those activities may seem harmless — but not if you’re in the middle of a personal injury case.
Social media can be very damaging to a personal injury claim. Anything you post — or anything that a friend or family member posts that includes you — is fair game for an insurance company to use against you during settlement negotiations. The best course of action is to avoid social media entirely while your case is pending.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Los Angeles, contact a personal injury lawyer at Custodio & Dubey LLP for a free consultation. We can advise you on how to protect your personal injury claim as we seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
Call us now or fill out an online contact form to get started.
Posting on Social Media After an Accident
Social media is an easy way to let people know what’s going on in your life. If you or a family member is hurt in an accident, it might seem like a good way to alert your loved ones instead of picking up the phone and making individual calls.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. No matter how you lock down your privacy settings after an accident, there are ways for private investigators to access your social media information.
Why Social Media is Admissible in Court
Under California law, electronic communications qualify as written material. That means that any social media post, check-in, photograph, or comment can be used against you in an effort to reduce, delay, or dismiss your claim for compensation.
Social Media Posts May Create Inconsistencies
Imagine you suffered serious whiplash in a car accident. A check-in at the gym while you are still recovering could be used by the insurance company to claim that you aren’t as injured as you claim to be.
Friends and Family Comment on Posts
Your claim can still be harmed even if you limit your use of social media. Other people’s posts can jeopardize your claim for compensation, too.
Let’s say that you were invited to a friend’s birthday party. You attend, and then the friend posts a picture on Instagram of you jumping in the pool or tossing a beach ball to a kid. If you’re tagged in the photo, a private investigator could find it and it becomes valuable evidence for the opposing side. For that reason, it’s very important to tell your relatives and friends not to post anything about your participation in any activities in their social media posts.
What You Should Never Post on Social Media After an Accident
The best rule of thumb is to avoid mentioning anything about the accident on social media.
Here’s some specific advice:
- Don’t post any updates or photos about your injuries.
- Never say anything about conversations you have with your personal injury lawyer.
- Don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. It could be an investigator.
- Don’t tag yourself in anything.