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How Social Media Can Impact a Personal Injury Claim

social media and your personal injury case

If we decide to represent you in a personal injury claim, one of the first things we will ask is how much time you spend on social media. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever way you talk to your friends online can negatively impact our goal of gaining compensation from the at-fault party.

Even though you may not realize it, what you post to your accounts can seriously impact your case or whether you have a case at all. This is why it is best to stay off social media altogether if you have a personal injury lawsuit.

Posting About Your Life

For some people, posting on social media is a way of life. Almost everything goes there – pictures, writing, and videos – for your followers to see. But beware. Conversely, the insurance company is adept at perusing your social media. Their goal is to minimize your claim or deny it altogether.

Anything you post can and will be used against you. They are considered admissions that can be used in court.

For example, if you claim you received whiplash in an auto accident, and a few days later, you go ziplining with friends. Of course, as you usually do, pictures end up on your social media platforms.

You are handing ammunition to the insurance company for the car that hit you. You may insist that ziplining does not hurt your neck, but insurers don’t care. Their goal is to save the insurance company money; denying your claim just requires evidence you are not really injured to make that happen.  

Alabama Contributory Negligence Laws

In your mind, you can be injured in a car accident and still be active, but Alabama is one of six states that follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. That means if you contributed just one percent to the accident, you may be prevented from recovering compensation from your personal injury claim.

The insurance company can suggest that your activities have led to your whiplash, not the auto accident.

The other way your claim can be compromised is if you post online that you knew you were being reckless and negligent and that is what caused your accident.  

Maybe you had been distracted when the other car hit you, or you were reaching for something on the floor. Any admission to any degree of guilt in contributing to the accident might result in you losing your personal injury claim.

Social Media Considerations 

We don’t expect you to take down your social media accounts, but there are some things you can do.

  • Do not accept any new friends; they could be insurance company representatives trying to gain access to your posts
  • Set the account to private
  • Absolutely do not discuss anything about your accident
  • Do not answer any questions about your current medical condition or doctor’s visits
  • Do not discuss or blame the other party involved in your accident
  • Do not post any photos or videos showing your current medical condition or where you are

Not just social media platforms but the information contained in instant messages can also be used against you.

In short, remove any mention of the accident that led to your injuries from your electronic correspondence. This may not be what you usually do, but once you have damaged your claim because of something you said electronically, you cannot take it back.

Even if your account is set to private, the other side can get permission from a judge to access your account. It doesn’t have to be fair. Consider that the other side’s insurance provider is a very profitable corporation and will do whatever it takes to compromise your lawsuit.

Do not take any chances with your case just because you want to post on social media.

Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney

For more than a decade, attorney J. Allan Brown has helped people injured through no fault of their own. He works closely with his clients to secure the most favorable result possible. Let him guide you through your personal injury claim so he can maximize your compensation from the at-fault party.

Call the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. in Mobile, AL today at (251) 473-6691 for a complimentary consultation on your case or contact us online.

Sources:

NYTimes
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/style/what-is-tik-tok.html

J. Allan Brown, LLC
Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC, is located in Mobile, AL and serves clients in and around Mobile, Bucks, Satsuma, Eight Mile, Semmes, Spanish Fort, Citronelle, Theodore, Saraland, Montrose, Irvington, Saint Elmo, Wilmer, Point Clear, Grand Bay, Chunchula, Fairhope, Creola, Bayou La Batre, Axis, Coden, Bay Minette, Silverhill, Baldwin County and Mobile County.
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