Your Social Media Post Could Ruin Your Car Accident Claim
Posting to social media accounts following motor vehicle accidents may cost accident victims tthe compensation they deserve and need to pay for medical bills and lost wages. Since the inception of social media and throughout the 2000s, social media usage has grown exponentially. According to the Pew Research Center, seven out of ten people in the U.S. used some type of social media as of April 2021. People use applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others to connect, express themselves, and share information about their lives.
Using Your Social Media Against You
When involved in personal injury cases, the insurance companies or opposing attorneys may try to use people’s social media posts as evidence against them. Previous court rulings have set a precedent of allowing social media posts to be presented as evidence at trial if the posts provide information relevant to the case. Depending on the circumstances, however, the court may limit the types of posts it will admit or the time period from which the opposition may draw posts. For instance, the court may only allow posts dated after the accident occurred.
Sending the Wrong Message
The things people post or the posts they engage in may send the wrong message to juries considering their auto accident claims. For example, a jury may question a plaintiff’s claim of having suffered a serious ankle injury if they see a photo posted to social media of the alleged victim dancing the night after the collision. Additionally, the posts jurors read or view may affect their sympathy for alleged victims, which in turn may impact the compensation they award. Jurors may see liking or interacting with other posts about auto accidents as the alleged victim comparing their crash to another, potentially affecting how they view the alleged victims.
Apologies may read as admissions of liability. People often express sympathy with apologies. In the context of a personal injury claim, however, the court may see a driver posting they are sorry for the accident as an expression of guilt. Consequently, they may not see fit to award the alleged victim damages, or they may reduce the compensation award.
Car crash injuries may have life-changing effects on those who suffer them, as well as on their loved ones. Among other steps they may take to protect their rights following an accident, people may find it helpful to use caution in posting to social media.