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How Social Media Can Affect Your Car Accident Claim

Social media has only been around for a decade or so, but in that relatively short span of time, it has already become integral to our daily lives. People routinely use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms to share stories with their friends and loved ones, whether it’s a positive anecdote or a more personal and traumatic experience.

Because of this, you may be tempted to share your car accident story on social media once you get home from the hospital, or even post pictures of your injuries. However, it’s generally a bad idea to post information about your accident or injuries on social media when you are considering a personal injury claim. At Simeone & Miller, LLP, our attorneys have seen many cases where plaintiffs hurt their case by discussing it on social media, and we want to help you avoid that risk.

Here are just a few of the most significant ways that social media can impact your claim.

Your Words Become Part of the Public Record.

A 2018 study by the Pew Research Center found that over two-thirds of American adults are Facebook users, with nearly three-fourths accessing the site on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of these users do not realize that Facebook posts and similar social media communications can be considered part of the public record, and used against you in court. While the defense may need a warrant or subpoena to access your private messages in Twitter and Facebook, it’s almost universally accepted that your posts and comments can be admitted as evidence, even if your settings are on “private.”

You May Invite Unwanted Character Assessments.

When you decide to file a car accident claim – regardless of whether you’re filing with an insurer or pursuing a lawsuit – the facts of the case and your character will be under close scrutiny. Because an injury claim hinges on the fact that you’ve experienced a traumatic loss, the defense can easily break down your case if they can argue that you’re “faking it” or exaggerating your injuries. That’s one reason social media can be so devastating for your claim: Even a picture of you enjoying dinner or a Facebook status about your potential settlement could be enough to cast doubt on your claimed injuries.

In addition, statements you make about how the accident took place can be used against you, including taken out of context. Often times, people are tempted to post on social media before an investigation of an accident is complete. This can lead to posting without knowledge of the full facts, which can lead to inaccurate statements.

You Could Contradict Your Own Timeline.

Even the best of us forget dates and details from time to time. While this is a normal part of being human, it can be incredibly detrimental to your personal injury case, or to a complex insurance battle. Because social media has timestamps on every post, you could unintentionally disrupt the timeline of events after your car accident. The defense can then use that weakened timeline to introduce doubt about your judgment, or to argue that you didn’t visit the doctor when you claimed.

Seek Committed Counsel for Your Accident Claim

At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we’re here to help you walk through the dangers of using social media and make sure that your case is airtight. With decades of experience and nearly $100 million won on behalf of our clients, you can rest assured knowing that we won’t stop until we reach a fair outcome. Car accidents are a difficult and painful experience, but with our legal team by your side, you may be able to increase your chance of recovery.

For more information, call (202) 888-0872 to contact our team in Washington DC.