It may feel like second nature to share what’s going on in your life with family and friends on social media, especially if you’re in the midst of an ongoing motor vehicle injury settlement. After all, getting into an accident—especially if you’ve been injured—is a major talking point. But could your social media activity be undercutting your accident claim? What if your account is private? Is what you post admissible in court?
In general, it would be smart to exercise great caution when using social media after a motor vehicle injury. What you post can provide the opposing counsel’s research team with information that can be used against you. If you post contradicting information to what’s stated on your claim—no matter your privacy settings—that can be used against you. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important that you get in touch with an expert personal injury lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Montgomery County Motor Vehicle Injury Case
Social media is a tool that’s now ingrained in the fabric of society. With platforms like Instagram and Twitter being household names, it’s important to understand the power of social media, especially as it relates to ongoing legal investigations. By and large, it’s important to exercise restraint while in the middle of an ongoing motor vehicle injury case. What you post on social media can negatively impact your potential compensation.
For instance, if you filed a lawsuit after a broken foot and subsequently posted a picture playing soccer, your claim may be in jeopardy. Even something as innocuous as a check-in at the local gym may ruin your case and any chance of recovering damages. Here are a few examples of what to avoid when posting on social media.
Contradicting Your Own Testimony
The insurance company will stop at nothing to settle for as little as possible, and that includes scouring your social media posts for anything that could be portrayed as inconsistent. For example, if you post an image standing with your bike after claiming you had broken your leg—even if you weren’t actually biking—it could be portrayed as showing what you’re physically capable of after your injury.
Even a photo of you that seems harmless, like standing in your garden, sitting in a hot tub on vacation, or just hanging out at a backyard barbecue might be used as evidence that your injuries aren’t as bad as you initially claimed. Inconsistent social media posts can sometimes completely ruin a motor vehicle injury case.
Check-Ins on Social Media
In this same way, check-ins at an inconsistent location on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites can place you at locations that oppose your own statements. For example, if you’re claiming to have a back injury, don’t publicly locate yourself at your weekly spin class.
Comments from Friends and Family
Likewise, you may be superbly careful with what you post, but if Aunt Mary publicly comments something contradictory, you’re also out of luck. In general, most attorneys advise their clients to stay off social media while their case is still pending. It may be in your best interest to continue to monitor your account to make sure well-meaning friends and family don’t mention you in their posts.
Can Your Social Media Account Be Used against You If Your Account Is Private?
Many people are under the impression that making your Facebook or Twitter accounts private can prevent anyone from pulling information from those accounts in the event of a courtroom trial. However, in certain situations, defense attorneys can gain access to private messages and even posts that you’ve deleted. The opposing counsel can sometimes ask you to produce printouts of your social media activity in the discovery phase of a lawsuit where parties exchange information to build their respective cases. Even though your private account isn’t public record, either party can petition the court to require the other side to produce information that the requesting party believes is relevant.
This doesn’t mean that you should avoid using the private setting if you plan to keep your social media accounts active after the accident. Privacy settings can help to prevent other users from tagging you in photos or posting information to your social media pages.
Contact an Experienced Montgomery County Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in a Pennsylvania car accident, reach out to an experienced Montgomery County motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve to reimburse you for your economic and non-economic losses. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, we understand how trying an injury can be, which is why we’re dedicated to making this process as easy as possible for you.
For over 65 years, our attorneys have been serving the legal needs of clients in Montgomery County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout the surrounding areas. We’ve earned the trust and respect of clients facing a wide range of personal injury problems. Our attorneys serve to protect you and guard your rights. Give us a call at (215) 822-7575 or complete our online contact form today.