We live in a different world today than we did even 10 or 20 years ago. Social media has changed how we communicate, and we’ve become a nation with bits and pieces of our lives showing up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for the world to see.
Most of the time, these new technological tools are fun to use and can enhance our lives. If you’ve just been in a car crash, though, think twice before you start sharing about it. If you’re not careful, you could jeopardize recovering rightful damages.
5 Social Media Mistakes During a Car Crash Claim
Once you put something up on any social media, it’s out on the Internet where anyone can see it. If you post the wrong thing about your car crash, you could be setting yourself up for information to be twisted or used against you by an insurance adjuster, or by a lawyer working against you.
Below are five ways social media can ruin your car crash claim.
1) Comments can be construed as you admitting fault.
Even if you don’t come out and say, “It was my fault,” your words could still imply that if you’re not careful. You probably feel more casual and comfortable on social media, and may say things like, “He came out of nowhere,” or “My stupid brakes weren’t working,” which to a savvy insurance adjuster, could be taken to mean that you weren’t paying attention, or that you didn’t properly maintain your vehicle.
Sharing your remorse is also a bad idea. Tell your close friends in confidence if you like, but posting something on social media like “I feel so badly” could work against you.
2) Photographs contradict your story.
Let’s say you post a picture of your vehicle after the crash, with some comment like, “Ouch, look what just happened!” Seems harmless enough, but remember—that picture can now be used as evidence. If there’s anything in that picture that contradicts your claim, you could lose out on needed compensation.
3) Sharing destroys your confidentiality.
When you talk to your car crash lawyer, everything you say is kept confidential. The instant you share something on social media, however, it’s out there for everyone to see and to use. If you talk about your physical health, for example, and include information that could call your driving ability into question, that could be used against you. The same thing could happen if you share anything about your emotional state at the time of the accident (“I was so angry about being fired…”) or if you describe other circumstances of the crash. Better to keep all that information between you and your lawyer.
4) Social media can reveal your location.
Where did you go after the crash? Did you go straight to the doctor, or did you go have lunch with friends, first? If you went to lunch and posted about it, the insurance company could use that information to deny your claim. Social media can also be used in some ways to track your location. Apps like Facebook, Foursquare, or Yelp, if you use those, could reveal important information that you may not want others to have.
5) Comments your friends make could hurt you.
Let’s say you’re careful about what you say online about the crash. That’s good, but remember, it’s not just about you. Social media is communication and interaction, which means your friends and other connections are likely to comment on whatever you post. Insurance adjusters can use those comments for evidence, too. If one of your friends says something like, “Well, you shouldn’t drive so fast all the time,” that could harm your case.
Best scenario—keep anything about your accident or the surrounding circumstances quiet until after your car crash lawsuit is resolved.