Why Posting on Social Media After an Accident Can Hurt Your Case
Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 10:15 am
If you or someone close to you sustained a serious injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, resist the temptation to post your nightmare on social media. Any information that you put out there could potentially hurt your case and help the insurance company and the other parties involved to use the posting against you.
You may think that by putting photos, comments, and posts online you will get nothing but sympathy. That may be true as far as those who know and love you are concerned, but it has the opposite effect in terms of getting you just compensation for your losses. Save your comments and photos for an experienced personal injury attorney, and avoid the internet at all costs.
An Example of How Posting on Social Media Can Weaken Your Accident Claim
Let’s say that you were stopped at a red light and didn’t proceed when it turned green, and another driver hit you from behind. The back of your vehicle sustained extensive damage, and you bumped your head on the steering wheel, resulting in a concussion. You want everyone on social media to know what happened because when someone else crashes into you from behind, it’s always their fault, right? Well, that depends on the circumstances. Let’s continue with this scenario:
If you post that you didn’t proceed immediately when the light turned green because you dropped your cheeseburger and were trying to clean up the mess, you are putting any claim you might make about the other driver’s negligence at risk. If you then go on to accuse the other driver of road rage for plowing their vehicle into yours instead of waiting for you to drive forward, you could be found at fault for distracted driving.
Why, you ask? Based on your post, you were at least partially at fault because you shouldn’t have been cleaning up the cheeseburger mess when you should have been driving. By putting the details of what happened during the accident out there, the whole world –including the other party, their lawyer, and the insurance company — will know exactly what occurred in your own words. In this case, you would be responsible for the accident to some degree.
While there are no specific laws prohibiting eating or drinking non-alcoholic beverages while operating a motor vehicle, anything that takes your attention away from the activity of driving is considered distracted driving. As such, your claim for damages for your injuries and losses would likely be reduced, or even dismissed.
Can Playing Tennis or Shoveling Snow Weaken Your Claim?
If you are a plaintiff in a personal injury case and are asking for compensation for medical expenses due to the injuries you sustained in an accident due to the other driver’s negligence, don’t advertise your daily pursuits online. Posting photos of your engagement in physical activity can weaken your claim. Let’s say, for example, that you were injured when someone turned into your vehicle when you were stopped at a stop sign. If you are claiming negligence for the back injuries you sustained, as well as property damage to your car, photos of you shoveling snow or playing tennis before the case is settled can weaken your case. The defendant’s attorney or insurer, having seen the photos, may acknowledge your injury, but they may question the extent of those injuries, as well as the amount of your claim.
Can a Social Media Post Be Used as Evidence in a Court Case?
Many of us are familiar with the adage, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Well in today’s tech-savvy world, posting on social media can also be used against you, in both civil and criminal cases. A posting or photo is admissible as evidence in an accident, as well as in any other type of personal injury case, as long as it is relevant and authenticated.
- Relevance means that whether the information presented as evidence is an email, post, text, or photo, it has to definitively make a fact more probable than it would be without it. Additionally, the fact must be important in certifying that the action occurred.
- Authentication refers to proving that the post, email, text, or photo illustrates a link to a person who wrote it or has some other connection to it.
The bottom line is that posting, texting, emailing, and attaching photos relating to some aspect of your claim on social media could very easily work against you in a court case or settlement negotiations.
Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
When you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, whether it involves a traffic accident, a libel suit, medical malpractice, construction accidents, or any other type of personal injury, call the Georgia personal injury attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.. Our highly skilled legal team members are included in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and will work tirelessly to get you the money you deserve for your medical costs, loss of earnings, mental anguish, and property damage. Call (770) 205-8827, fill out our contact form, or chat online with us today. The consultation is free.