Approximately 70% of Americans use some form of social media. Social media has become a primary form of communication, including sharing joys and sorrows with the world. Although it is a quick method of spreading information and may seem harmless enough in most cases, posting when you have been in an accident could reduce your insurance claim or damage your personal injury suit.
If you have been injured in an accident of any kind, you have the right under Georgia law to pursue damages from the party who is at fault. However, you will have to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused the accident. Evidence to prove fault may include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of injuries and property damage
- Police reports
- Witness statements
You may also add your own written account of the accident, though this can be contested more easily than other evidence.
Impacts of Social Media as Evidence
While you should document the accident by recording your account and collecting photographic evidence, you should be certain that this evidence remains only with you and your attorney. It is tempting to post on social media, particularly in an effort to let others know you are okay or to vent about the frustration of being involved in an accident. However, this can quickly backfire.
Thanks to the accessibility of social media posts, they may be used as evidence to negate your personal injury claim, or at least reduce its value. This is because insurance adjusters, or even defense counsel, may search your social media for any clues that your injuries are not as severe as you say or that they were caused by something other than the accident. Even if you are being truthful about the accident and its effects, remember that your posts and photos on social media may not make the degree of pain and suffering you are experiencing obvious, since many people try to put only the positive highlights on social media.
If someone working for the defense finds evidence on social media that your injuries are less severe than you claim or that you contributed to the accident, the amount of compensation you receive could be reduced or even eliminated. In extreme cases, your case could even be dismissed entirely.
Protecting Your Social Media
You should not delete any posts after being in an accident or filing a personal injury suit. However, you can take steps to limit who can view your social media posts. Some general tips include:
- Make your account as private as possible
- Do not post publicly
- Connect only with people you actually know and trust
Some people also opt to temporarily deactivate their accounts until the personal injury suit is resolved, which helps to remove the temptation to post and, therefore, reduces the risk of sharing information that could be misconstrued and used against you.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury and wish to pursue compensation, contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law right away. We can help you build the best case possible, including helping you to manage your social media.