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Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media After a Car Accident


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The world of social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. These popular media platforms are such a common part of daily life that most of us don't think twice about what we post. From check-ins and reviews, to photos and updates about our daily lives, these means of internet communication can leave us exposed to scrutiny by others.

Unfortunately, posting after an automobile accident can impact your claim and even cause damage to the outcome. While these words may seem trivial to you when you're posting them, insurance companies think differently. They can be used to try to disprove your rights to a personal injury claim. Fortunately, Goodman Acker has put together a go-to list of the do's and don'ts of social media after a car accident.

The Don'ts of Social Media After a Car Accident

Girl on Phone at computer
Image by Firmbee from Pixabay.

When it comes to the don'ts of social media after a car accident, the list is long, but it's essential to understand what is and isn't acceptable to post. Are you willing to risk your settlement because you posted something about your accident and the wrong person saw it?

  • Don't talk about the accident. We've all seen this happen before. Someone you know got into an accident and instantly posted about it on Facebook, maybe even including photographs of the vehicle damages or images of them in the hospital. Most posts simply are along the lines of “I'm recovering quickly.” or “I'm ready to get out of therapy and back to normal life.” While you may be tempted to post such updates to keep your friends and family aware of your situation, you must refrain from doing so. Investigators may see this as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as your claim makes them seem.

  • Don't accept friend requests of people you don't know. Goodman Acker suggests not accepting any new friend or follower requests, especially from people you don't know. Not accepting new friends helps protect you from opening up your profile to an opposing attorney, adjuster, or investigator who could potentially find evidence that can be used against you.

  • Don't post anything about your case. This one should be a given. Anything regarding your claim or topics between you and your attorney should not be posted online. Doing so could jeopardize your case.

  • Don't lie about the accident or what you were doing before it happened. Everything posted online is geotagged. This means that opposing attorneys can find out where you were, what you were doing, and at what time. It's easy to expose a lie, and being caught in a lie can also jeopardize your case.

What To Do After an Accident

While there are plenty of don'ts for social media following a car accident, there are also some do's. Here are some of the things you should make sure you do after being injured and filing a claim.

  • Update your privacy settingsIf your profiles aren't already private, it's time to make that happen. While no setting will completely hide your profiles, setting them to private will help protect your information during this time.

  • Ask your family and friends to keep information about your accident to themselves. While some of them may want to post and keep others updated, this can backfire quickly. Encouraging them to keep your information private can prove to be beneficial to your case. Ask them not to tag you in photos or check-ins that can be used against you.

  • Be careful where you're checking in online. This feature is quite common and is used among friends to show where you've been and share places you enjoy with those who are following you. Avoid doing this after an accident. It may seem suspicious to investigators, especially if you're checking into a gym or somewhere else that requires physical activity.

  • Keep all of your records, but don't share them with the world. Anything you upload online can be instantly acquired by thousands of people who have access to your profiles. It's a good practice to take photos and keep them as evidence in case they're needed in your case, but you should only share these photos with your attorney.

To really protect yourself in the best way possible, it is in your best interest to completely stop using your social media profile. This includes posting, commenting, or uploading photos. Of course, still keep in mind that social media is a public place and even if you have the most restrictive privacy settings, it is a good idea to not share anything that could possibly be used against you in your personal injury claim.

Example of How Social Media Can Be Used Against You

We post this example in order to help you with your personal injury claim. While this may seem dramatic or like something that can't happen, it has happened, and it can happen again. Be sure to consider this example before sharing your information on social media.

Imagine that you're injured in a rear-end accident on a Friday, and you've hurt your back. You've gone to the ER and physical therapy but are still experiencing pain. You're in court, and the opposing attorney has a printout of your social media page with a check-in several days before at the river, trampoline park, or your gym.

Remember that post where you asked your followers for help with alleviating back pain from an injury that occurred on Wednesday, prior to the accident on Friday? This information can all be used against you with the argument that your injury occurred before the accident, perhaps at the trampoline park.

While we don't discourage social media use in general, we do discourage you from posting extra details that can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve. Goodman Acker will fight to get you a settlement, but mistakes such as these can significantly impact your claim and possibly your settlement.

Contact Our Detroit and Grand Rapids Law Offices

If you need a personal injury attorney after experiencing a traffic accident, reach out to the expert team at Goodman Acker. We can help answer any questions about your case and what is and isn't appropriate to post on social media following your accident. You can schedule your risk-free consultation with one of our expert lawyers.

Goodman Acker is dedicated to serving you in all of your legal needs. We're located in Detroit at 17000 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield and Grand Rapids at 1500 E. Beltline Ave. SE, Suite 235. We're also available by phone at 248-286-8100, or you can contact us online via our messaging system.