Involved In A Car Accident? 2 Ways Your Social Media Accounts Could Damage Your Personal Injury Case

Posted on: 16 March 2015

During your day, you might be used to posting a picture or statement online whenever anything out of the usual happens. In addition to keeping your family and friends in the loop, your social media account might become like a personal online journal—helping you to show off your kids and look back on fond memories. Unfortunately, your social media feed can also document your behavior after a car accident, which could affect your ability to win a personal injury lawsuit. Here are two ways social media could damage your case, and why you should think about stepping away from your electronics:

1: Pictures

After missing work and skipping out on important activities with loved ones, you might be tempted to post a picture of your car accident or injured foot for the world to see. Unfortunately, that simple photo might tell an insurance adjuster or competing lawyer a lot about your case. Here are a few things that other people might read into your snapshots:

  • Accident: During a personal injury lawsuit, you and your lawyer will have the burden of proof. This means that it is up to you to prove that the other person is responsible for your accident. Unfortunately, if you post a pic of your mangled car, it could act as an important piece of evidence. Your simple photo could show the orientation of the vehicle, the direction you were traveling, or that half-eaten burger sitting in the front seat.
  • Injuries: Are you doing everything you can to take care of that injury? Because car accident settlements are determined based off of damages, taking a picture of your injury could cause problems in court. If you post a shot of yourself mowing your lawn when you have previously stated that you aren't able to work, it could make it look like you are lying. 
  • Day-to-Day Activities: Do you have a history of reckless behavior? Unfortunately, even photos that aren't related to your accident could impact your case. If you are accused of drinking and driving, those pictures of you hitting the club night after night could cause problems.

To ward off trouble, keep your photos to yourself until after your case is over. Remember that you can always post images after the fact, when they won't play into whether or not you will win your settlement.

2: Statements

Pictures are one thing, but your personal statements can say a lot about you in the courtroom. Unfortunately, since you never know who is taking screen shots of your social media rants, those sarcastic statements or vague posts might come back to haunt you later. Here are a few things you should never talk about on social media when you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Financial Hardship: If you are having a hard time making your bills, it might be easy to vent about it to your friends. Unfortunately, your "Dying to get rich quick!" post might make it look like you would do anything—even lie in court—to get out of a bad situation.
  • Complaints About Insurance Companies: That insurance adjuster might not have been fun to talk with, but don't talk bad about them on social media. Your negative statements might make it look like you are out to seek revenge against a rich insurance provider.
  • Talking About Your Lawyer: Last but not least, never talk about your lawyer online. You might be confident in his or her ability to win your case, but posting things like "my lawyer has some awesome ideas!" might make it seem like you are trying to turn the tables in your favor.  

It might be hard, but experts recommend refraining from social media during your personal injury lawsuit. In addition to making things easier for your car crash attorney, it could give you a chance to sit back and quietly reflect on your recovery.