Social Media Posts and How They Affect Your Lawsuit
Most everyone has and uses social media these days - whether the site is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, or a variety of other forums. Generally speaking, most people also share a lot of personal details about their lives to their social media pages. Often, it is the fastest and easiest way to tell your friends and family about what is happening in your life. It is also the fastest and easiest way to vent frustration about the less-than-stellar consequences of being involved in a car wreck.
When you are involved in a collision, your instinct will be to let your friends and family know about the wreck and whether or not you are okay. Your next instinct will be to vent about all the problems that come along with being involved in a collision: your car is wrecked, you haven’t been put in a rental yet, the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance, the at-fault driver has insurance with a company with absolutely no customer service skills, the insurance adjuster won’t call you back, you have to wait on hold for twenty minutes before speaking with anyone at the insurance company, you are in pain, you can’t work, you can’t sleep, and the list goes on.
One thing is for sure: if you are involved in a car accident, what you post on social media can affect your case. Insurance companies, other drivers, and attorneys are able to search for you on social media and find your posts regarding the collision. If a lawsuit is filed, any posts that you make regarding the collision, your property damage, or your medical treatment are discoverable and may be used as evidence at your trial. How will a jury react to seeing a post you made that bashes the other driver? How will a jury take into account that you continued to seek medical treatment after announcing to your friends and family that you were “fine”? How will a jury react to seeing light-hearted captions intended to reassure your family you are okay? The bottom line is that you don’t know and posts like these could absolutely be detrimental to your claim.
Your best bet is to seek the advice of an attorney. Depending on the forum you use, your privacy settings, and the nature of your claims, it may be best to simply not post anything about the accident or to deactivate your accounts temporarily. If you have any questions about how social media can affect your claims, our office will be happy to speak with you at 918-947-9747.