Social Media is Not a Good Place to Discuss Your Accident
Today, many people live their entire lives online. Others use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share important events, such as marriage or the birth of a child.
One event you don't want to discuss on social media is an accident that injured you, whether it is a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace incident. The unfortunate reality is that many insurers and defense lawyers are hiring investigators to comb through a victim's social media accounts to find any information they can use.
Two things defendants are looking for is proof that you are really to blame for the accident, at least partially. Proving that a victim contributed to an accident will reduce the amount of compensation the defendant has to pay. Another thing a defendant is looking for is proof that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, which can also limit the defendant’s legal exposure.
What to Avoid Discussing Online
Anyone involved in an accident should avoid talking about the following:
- Exactly what happened before the accident. For example, you don't want to say something like, "I was looking at my phone when I suddenly heard a car honk it's horn" because this sounds like you were distracted in the moments before the accident. In other words, your own negligence is to blame for the incident.
- Confusion about who is at fault. A defendant will seize on this to reduce their legal liability, basically arguing, “See, even the victim is confused!”
- Admission of your own fault. This is a killer. Never say something like, "I'm probably to blame" or anything else that may indicate that you were at fault for your accident.
- Information about evidence. A defendant has a right to find out about what witnesses you intend to call or what evidence you will use in a lawsuit. But you should make them ask for it.
As you can see, there are many potential landmines when it comes to discussing an accident on social media. It is best to simply avoid talking about the accident at all.
Set Your Accounts to Private
This is an important first step to protecting your claim. Insurers will look for other information to use against you. For example, you might have suffered an accident before, say 3 or 4 years ago. A defendant could seize on this fact to claim that your injuries really stem from that prior accident! It is best to limit any stranger’s ability to find out information about your past. Set all accounts to private, even ones you haven’t used in years.
Don’t Accept Friend Requests
Some insurance companies will have their investigators attempt to "friend" personal injury victims in an attempt to gain access to their account and posts. Once you set an account to private, don't accept any friend requests until your case is settled.
Avoid Updating Your Location
This is a big one. Let’s say you suffered a terrible accident but went to Pennsylvania to a family member’s wedding. A defendant could seize on this fact to show that you aren’t really injured if you traveled out of state. Of course, you could have been in terrible pain the whole time and on painkillers, but defense attorneys will use anything they can find.
Speak with a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, we put our client’s well-being at the forefront of everything we do. For help after an accident, please call 212-285-3300 to set up an initial consultation. You can also send us a message using this online form.