If you get hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, one of the worst things you can do afterward is post on social media. Even things unrelated to the accident could reduce the amount of your injury settlement.
This blog explores why you should avoid social media after an accident. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can provide additional guidance when they handle your accident injury claim.
Your Social Media Posts Are Not as Private as You Might Think
The first thing you need to know is that the defendant’s insurance company will likely gain access to your social media accounts. The judge or jury could see your photos and read your posts. You do not want to post anything that might embarrass you if shown or read in an open courtroom. Things can get taken out of context and misinterpreted.
It is best to take a complete break from social media after an accident. You will want to ask your friends and relatives not to post anything about you or the accident as well.
Posts About the Accident
Social media posts are admissible as evidence in court. Anything that you post about how the accident happened or what happened before or after the accident could be used against you. Let’s say that you attended a festival right before the accident.
You later post photos of yourself having a good time at the festival. The defense might use those pictures to argue that you were impaired by drugs or alcohol and that the impairment caused or contributed to the accident.
Any factual statements you post about the accident could be used to cross-examine you. You probably did not know all of the facts right after the accident. Posts shortly after the event might be inconsistent with the truth and used to discredit your testimony of what caused the accident.
Comments About the At-Fault Party
We understand. It is human nature to be angry at the party who injured you because of their carelessness. You do not, however, want to post any opinions about the defendant on social media. Doing so will not make the jury think highly of you.
Photographs of the Accident or Your Injuries
The defendant’s lawyer could twist the meaning of the images and use them to try to pay you less money than you deserve. For example, pictures of your wounds right after the accident might not show the full extent of the injuries because bruises can take time to develop. The defendant might use your immediate post-crash photos as “proof” that you were not injured.
Many personal injury claims involve a request for money damages for pain and suffering. Photos of you having fun could discredit your claim that you are experiencing severe pain.
Unsavory Language or Opinions
In the heat of the moment or when taking pain medication, a person might use language that they ordinarily would not use in public. Social media posts are, by definition, “in public.” It is best to avoid posts that you might regret later.
Confidential Settlement Terms
Many personal injury settlements include a confidentiality clause. A confidentiality clause requires the parties to keep the terms, including the dollar amount, of the settlement a secret. Posting about the results of your personal injury claim could violate the confidentiality requirement, which could mean that you would have to give back the money.
These are but a few of the many reasons to stay off of social media after an accident. To learn more and find out if you have a personal injury case, you can reach out to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Contact our office today, we offer a free initial consultation.