In today’s world, with seemingly everyone oversharing on social media it would seem quite natural to make a post following a car wreck. However, this can have severe negative consequences in the world of personal injury lawsuits – especially with insurance companies looking for any angle to attack the value of our clients’ cases.
By far, the safest option following a car wreck is to deactivate all your social media accounts. However, if you can’t bring yourself to completely un-plug, the following is a non-exhaustive list of social media “don’ts” for people following a car wreck.
- Privacy. Set all your social media accounts to PRIVATE. This is a step that can be taken right now, before a car wreck, and applies to all social media platforms including (but not limited to) Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Tumblr. In Texas, if your account is not set to private, anyone – including the adverse insurance company and defense attorney – can access your account and use it against you. Setting your account to private does not guarantee that it cannot be used against you, but typically will require a court order to access.
- Requests. Along the same lines as #1, do not accept any strange friend or connection requests following your car wreck. Allowing an unknown person or entity access to your account places you at risk for sharing private information that could inevitably be used against you. This especially pertains to requests from the other driver(s), their family and friends, and insurance adjusters.
- Posts. Your social media sharing after a car wreck should NEVER include any information regarding the wreck. This does not merely include the circumstances of the crash, feelings about the other driver, but your injuries and treatment. If you are reading this now and have shared information regarding your car wreck, delete it immediately. Even pictures of yourself doing things completely unrelated to the wreck can be used against you by an insurance adjuster to “prove” you weren’t really hurt. This happens more than people would guess.Remember, when it comes to personal injury cases, silence is golden. There will come a time and a place to tell your story, but social media is neither. Stay off social media about your wreck and avoid unforeseen consequences!