June 20, 2022

According to the latest statistics, 82% of Americans own a social media account on at least one of the most popular platforms like Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter. If you are one of the 223 million social media users nationwide, you may feel tempted to update your status following an accident or an injury to reassure your friends, family, and followers. However, there are several reasons to reconsider posting accident-related content on social media.

Learn the dos and don’ts of social media usage after an injury or accident and why obtaining legal advice from a personal injury lawyer at The Vance Law Firm can help you maximize your settlement amount.

The Risks of Social Media Usage After an Accident

Social media is an integral part of the lives of many Americans, where they share every detail of their daily activities. Most social media posts are publicly visible and available to view by anyone with an internet connection. Insurance company adjusters are well aware of this fact and will exploit it to try and reduce or eliminate the payments they owe to accident victims.

If you are a victim of an accident, regardless of whether it is a car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, or even a slip and fall, your Montgomery personal injury lawyer will recommend that you cease social media usage until your case is resolved.

They recommend this because insurance company adjusters may search through your social media accounts, examining your posts, such as conversations, status updates, and photos. Their objective is to find content to use as evidence that proves you aren’t as hurt or traumatized as you claim and justify reducing their payout.

How to Manage Your Social Media Activity

The best and safest solution to preventing an adjuster from gathering evidence against your claim is to disable your social media accounts immediately following an accident to prevent insurance companies from using your posts and twisting them to incriminate you in court.

Many social media platforms offer options to disable your account temporarily, keeping you from posting until you go through the reactivation process. For example, Facebook has an explicitly temporary deactivate account function you can use.

If you are unable or unwilling to disable or delete your social media accounts entirely, consider enacting the following tips:

  • Do not post details regarding your accident or the severity of your injuries. If you must make an updated post, limit it to a short message and an invitation to contact you privately through other means ( “I’ve been in a car accident, DM me for details”).
  • Avoid communication via social media and switch to telephone, texting, or private instant messaging.
  • If you must use social media platforms to communicate privately, use your platform of choice’s direct messages (DMs), private messages (PMs), or privacy filter functions and pay close attention to who can see your messages.
  • Until the case is resolved, do not accept new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know. Insurance company members may try to friend you to gain access to your posts.

How Insurance Companies Can Use Your Posts Against You

Insurance company adjusters receive training on how to take advantage of social media and deny you the compensation you deserve. Even the most innocuous messages can be used as evidence against you before the jurors, regardless of any official diagnosis. Examples include:

  • Making an apologetic post or comment regarding the other driver, even if they are 100% at fault, can be construed as admitting guilt or personal responsibility.
  • Vent posts or similar angry, insulting comments aimed at the at-fault driver can send the wrong message to the jurors.
  • Status updates regarding your medical condition can be used against you, no matter how innocuous. For example, a status update or a tweet that reads “Just got back from the chiropractor, feeling so much better now” can be interpreted as no longer needing medical care.
  • Posting photos of yourself in a positive light, such as enjoying a vacation or working out, can be construed as evidence your physical injuries weren’t severe or that the accident hasn’t disrupted your life.
  • If you receive a depression or PTSD diagnosis following the accident, posting public updates or photos with a positive or happy-sounding mood will be used against you to prove that you’re okay and don’t need compensation for the trauma.

Call The Vance Law Firm Today

The Vance Law Firm is an award-winning team of Alabama personal injury lawyers and a four-time recipient of the ‘Best of the Best in the River Region’ award. We have decades of combined experience fighting on behalf of all our clients and earning them the compensation they deserve.

Call us today for a free case review and learn how we can help you navigate social media usage after an injury accident.

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