People enjoy posting about their days on social media. The posts can be anything from the early morning weather, that first cup of coffee, pets, children, or other visuals worth sharing. Social media postings have become a journaled collection of everyday life.
That may be good, bad, or just shared information. Sometimes venting about a problem may get a response or even personal assistance from someone who understands or a company that can help.
But after a car accident, we strongly suggest you don’t consider posting about your car accident for reasons that can ruin your case.
Anything you discuss with your attorney is considered confidential and not subject to disclosure. If you don’t tell anyone, they don’t tell anyone, except within the law firm on a need-to-know basis.
But post details of your accident on social media, and you lose that confidentiality. Anything posted on social media is no longer confidential and can be seen by anyone—including an insurance adjuster.
Using Social Media Against You
Literally, anything you post can be used to discredit your claim and get your case dismissed. This includes posting about your car accident with pictures that were taken prior to the accident, such as a vacation or physical activity, such as hiking. You may also give an insurer an inadvertent admission of guilt.
There are no controls to make your account completely private. Insurers can easily find anything you’ve written or posted online.
What Courts Say About Posting About Your Car Accident
Social media is just that—social, and available for public consumption. While you can change your settings to “private,” anything you say is still public. Courts have repeatedly allowed social media to be discoverable evidence. Furthermore, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy because nearly all the information is shared with third parties anyway.
In short, if you use the argument of “privacy,” the court will side with you.
The paradox is that if you start deleting posts, it makes matters worse. The information can be retrieved even if it’s not visible from your page. The defense may claim you have something to hide, especially if the posts run counter to your claim. This can lead to allegations of evidence tampering and insurance fraud.
Prevent Claim Damage
Taking control of your social media to prevent your claim from being disputed and denied:
• Limit (or disable) your social media use for a while. Don’t post on your own timeline/account or anyone else’s, especially about the accident. Insurance companies see excessive social media use as “you’re not injured.”
• Instruct friends and family who know about the accident not to post anything or tag you in anything related to your accident. Say nothing.
• Ignore new friend requests on any platform from anyone you don’t know, especially if you’ve never met them in person. Insurance adjusters may show up as a “friend of a friend,” especially if that friend accepts every connection request.
• Change your settings to “private.” It won’t prevent the other side from accessing posts, but it can make access more difficult, especially your account history.
It’s essential to avoid posting anything until your claim is settled. Otherwise, you could lose your case and any compensation that comes with it.
Let The Love Law Firm Help After A Car Accident
For more than 25 years, The Love Law Firm has helped West Virginians after car accidents. If you need help after a car accident in Charleston, contact us at The Love Law Firm, or call us at (304) 344 5683. Your consultation is free, and we only collect if we win your case.