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Why Should You Avoid Posting on Social Media After a Car Accident?

February 17, 2024 | Car Accidents

social mediaIn the digital age, sharing every aspect of our lives on social media has become a common practice. However, exercising caution is particularly important following a car accident. The urge to post may be strong, whether to update loved ones or vent about the experience, but such actions can lead to unforeseen legal consequences.

Understanding how insurance companies and legal teams might scrutinize social media posts is essential. In the aftermath of an accident, these entities are on the lookout for any evidence that could be used to dispute claims. A seemingly innocuous photo or comment could be interpreted to undermine the account of the incident or the extent of injuries. Additionally, the implications of privacy settings are not as secure as one might think. Despite stringent privacy controls, there’s no guarantee that what is posted will remain private. Content can easily be viewed and shared with insurance adjusters or attorneys by someone with access to a friend’s account or a friend of a friend. If you were injured in a car accident due to another motorist’s negligence, speak with the lawyers of Goza & Honnold to understand your legal rights and options. 

4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Posting on Social Media After a Car Accident

Updating friends and family on your recovery via social media might seem harmless. We’ve become accustomed to sharing our lives online without a second thought. However, it’s not immediately obvious why posting on social media following a car accident in Missouri could be detrimental to your legal interests.

The following are four significant risks associated with social media usage that you should be aware of to avoid potential pitfalls:

1. The Illusion of Privacy on Social Media

Believing that your online posts are private is a misconception. Insurance companies are adept at accessing your social media content, including posts you’ve deleted. Your tweets, photos, and comments can resurface, potentially undermining your case in a personal injury lawsuit.

Investigators and adjusters from insurance companies are proficient in uncovering information that can lead to the denial or devaluation of your claim. They might even add you or your relatives and friends on social media to gather evidence against you.

No matter how stringent your privacy settings are, there’s always a chance that your posts could be exposed. In certain scenarios, defense attorneys have successfully obtained court orders requiring victims to hand over their social media data.

2. The Risk of Misinterpretation

In legal proceedings, whether in Kansas or Missouri, jurors could misinterpret your online statements and photos. A casual reply stating you’re “fine” or “okay” could be twisted by defense attorneys to suggest you’re overstating your injuries. Jurors might not grasp the context of your positivity or your reluctance to share the extent of your injuries online.

Similarly, expressing regret over your accident or the injuries of others could be seen as an admission of guilt, potentially diminishing your compensation or even leading to a verdict in favor of the defense.

Photos can also be problematic. For instance, a photo of you smiling at a family gathering could be misconstrued as evidence that you’re able to engage in social activities despite claiming inability to work due to your injuries. The jury may overlook the fact that your appearance was brief and despite considerable pain.

3. Your Words Can Be Turned Against You

Social media is often a platform for venting frustrations, including those related to car accidents. However, any complaints or comments you make could be leveraged in court. A defense attorney might use your posts to highlight inconsistencies in your statements or testimony, regardless of any pain medication or stress you were experiencing at the time.

4. The Complications of Being Tagged

Even if you’re not actively posting, being tagged by friends and family can complicate your case. While their intentions may be to show support, their posts could inadvertently harm your case by making problematic statements.

Guide to Social Media Usage After a Car Accident

The simplest strategy to prevent social media-related issues after a car accident is to refrain from using your accounts until the legal matters are settled. Consult with your car accident lawyer on whether it might be wise to deactivate your account temporarily. Opting for deletion might give off the wrong impression as if you’re attempting to conceal evidence.

Should you decide to remain active on social media during your personal injury lawsuit, the following is a guide to safe usage:

  • Refrain from posting any photos or videos.
  • Avoid discussing your accident, health status, or the process of your recovery online.
  • Keep your feelings regarding the accident or injuries to yourself.
  • Do not share updates about your daily life, especially in relation to the challenges of recovering from your injuries.
  • Turn off the ability for others to tag you in posts and disable comments on your profiles.
  • Avoid accepting new friend requests or joining new social media groups.
  • Disable the feature that allows you to check into places.
  • Adjust your account’s privacy settings to the maximum level of security.
  • Ensure your posts are not accessible to the public or friends of friends.
  • Refrain from detailing your daily activities or things you wish you could do.

If you’re unsure about anything or need further guidance, speak with the lawyers of Goza & Honnold. 

Speak With the Car Accident Lawyers of Goza & Honnold

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is challenging enough without the added complications that can arise from social media usage. As you focus on your recovery and the road ahead, remember the importance of safeguarding your legal rights and interests. By exercising caution with your social media presence, you protect the integrity of your personal injury claim. The experienced lawyers of Goza & Honnold can provide you with the guidance needed to avoid potential pitfalls on social media and help you understand the impact your online activity may have on your case. 

Call our office today for a free consultation at (913) 451-3433 or fill out a contact form.