Social media and driving

The Impact of Social Media on a Car Accident Case

We live and increasingly digitized society, and this is especially true when it comes to social media. Approximately 70% of all U.S. adults use Facebook, while a little over 50% of teens use this platform. The preferred social media platform for teens is Instagram, where more than 70% of them have profiles. And while social media allows us to stay connected with family and friends, it is not without its downsides.

We often warn our young people to be careful what they post on social media, because once you put it out there, it is there for the world to see. This could include teachers, school administrators, and even prospective employers. But this same warning should also be heeded by adults, and particularly those who are involved in a legal case from a car accident or any other type of personal injury.

Getting injured in an auto accident is clearly a significant life event, and when this happens to someone, they might be naturally inclined to go on to their favorite social media platform and post details about what happened. This is a major mistake, however, because your family, friends, and those closest to you are not necessarily the only ones who will see what you post. The other side might also have access to it, and they could try to twist your posts around and use them in a way that undermines your claim.

You might be thinking, “that is all well and good, but I have the strongest privacy settings on my social media accounts, so my posts will never be found”. This is very flawed thinking for a number of reasons. First of all, insurance companies have extensive resources, and they have ways of uncovering this information that you are most likely not aware of.

Secondly, there is no legal right to confidentiality for anything you say electronically. This means social media, email, texts, or whatever other format. All of this information is considered “discoverable” in a legal case, and it can be subpoenaed even if the other side does not uncover it on their own. So, with all of this in mind, you should always assume that any type of digital communication you engage in could be seen by the other side, and act accordingly.

How Social Media can Hurt your Auto Accident Case

There are a number of ways the other side might use social media against you in your car accident claim:

  • Comments that Imply Fault: After a vehicle crash, people say all sorts of things in the heat of the moment. For example, some people are naturally apologetic even when an incident was not their fault. While this approach might work fairly well for defusing conflict with others, it is never good to apologize after a car accident. If you post comments that imply in any way that you had some responsibility for the accident, you can be sure that if the other side finds your posts, they will try to use them to undermine your case.
  • Comments that May be Seen as Hurtful: Other types of emotional statements made after an accident can you harm your case. For example, if you make comments about the other driver that are seen as nasty or hurtful, juries typically do not look kindly on them.
  • Comments and Photos about your Physical Status: Another way that accident victims can seriously harm their case is by posting statements and photos about their physical condition. After being injured in a crash, you will have good days and bad days during your recovery, this is the natural ebb and flow of things. Never post anything about how you are feeling. And avoid posting any pictures that may show anything about your physical status. These comments and photos could be used by the other side to say that your injuries are not as serious as you claim they are.

It is important to note that even posts that are seemingly unrelated to your accident can damage your case. For example, let’s say you and your family decide to take a relaxing vacation to Gulfport Beach, and you post some photos of everyone smiling and having a good time. If the other side gets a hold of these, they could argue that the accident really did not cause as much pain-and-suffering and emotional distress as you say it did.

These are just a few examples of the negative impact social media can have on a car accident case, and this only scratches the surface. This is why the best approach is to stay off of social media entirely after getting hurt in an auto crash. In fact, you should even suspend your account for a while so you are not accidentally tagged in photos that family and friends may have taken that you were not aware of. If you cannot stay away from social media entirely, consult with your attorney about what you can and cannot do when you are on your favorite platforms.

Contact an Experienced Pascagoula Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered injury in an auto accident in Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, or anywhere in Southern Mississippi, call the Gardner Law Firm today at (228) 900-9618 or message us through our online contact form to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to discuss your case and help ensure that your legal rights are protected.