Accidents and Social Media: The Dos and Don’ts

Posted by Christopher “Chris” Schwartz | Jun 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

You may be feeling #blessed after coming out of a car accident alive or with minimal injuries, and you probably want to share with your online followers about your well being. However, posting an inappropriate comment or photo can have major effects on any potential injury lawsuits or insurance claims. Here are the Do's and Don'ts about posting on social media after a car accident.

What To Do Following an Auto Accident:

  • Avoid posting, or post minimal information: Insurance companies will use any and all information against you to lessen your claim. Defense attorneys will demand access to your social media accounts and attempt to use your posts against you.  
  • Not post opinions or feelings: Keep all of your qualms, frustrations, and disappointments to yourself. It's easy to post or tweet statuses in the heat of the moment after an accident, but prosecutors could use those emotions against you as well.
  • Keep photos: But don't necessarily post them. Even a photo of you looking too happy after an accident could put your defense in jeopardy. Save any evidence you may have on your phone to use in case you will need them in court.
  • Keep an eye on other people's accounts: Insurers will check the accounts of your friends and family as well. Make sure no one is tagging you in any other posts, writing about your accident, or about your potential case.
  • Update your privacy settings: Even having the most protections on your social media accounts doesn't completely hide your information. If you have posted about the accident, you don't want it to be shared with the general public.

What Not to Do After a Car Accident:

  • Post anything or respond to posts about your liability or the case:  It may be tempting to defend yourself or post your side of the story, but any information you put out there is just another way for an insurance company to discredit you. Don't assume a reasonable expectation of privacy, and treat each social media account as such.
  • Post pictures looking too happy or doing physical activity: You don't want to appear like you are bragging after a car accident. Lawyers can argue seeming “too happy” means your injuries or the effect of the accident wasn't as severe as your claim. Even progress photos about your recovery can hurt your defense.
  • Lie about the accident: Everything online or with apps is time-stamped. If you tweeted right before an accident, prosecutors could argue that is what caused the crash. If you lie about where you were before an accident, geotagging makes it easy to see if you are telling the truth. It's best to be honest through all steps of the process because lying can make your outcome worse.
  • Text or message about the accident: You make think your private messages are indeed, private, but lawyers can subpoena any emails or texts to help their case.

After an Accident, Call an Experienced Lawyer

The best course of action is to not post anything online at all. Your first course of action after an accident is to call a lawyer. You can trust the Louisiana lawyers at the Schwartz Law Firm LLC to be there to help you navigate the social media waters. We have two convenient locations, one in Metairie and another in Baton Rouge. Call us today at 504-837-2263 for your free consultation.

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Schwartz Law Firm

Schwartz Law Firm LLC attorneys bring over 25 years of combined experience securing personal injury recoveries and workers’ compensation successes in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana.