After a car accident, you are understandably upset and confused. Everything seems to happen so quickly, you feel as if you don’t have time to think. Having some information before you find yourself in such a predicament can help avoid a lot of problems later. After an accident, everyone will be looking for evidence to prove who was at fault. Increasingly, investigators, the police, insurance adjustors, and Colorado Springs car accident attorneys will be searching for evidence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. This evidence may be used to help you, and can also be used to harm you. We are so used to sharing our lives on social media that we sometimes forget that the information we share is there forever, even after a post is taken down. You may think you have removed that embarrassing Instagram photo, but you do not know how many times that photo was copied, downloaded, or shared before you removed it. Even posts in which you are tagged by others can come back to haunt you.
The law regarding privacy rights and social media has been pretty well established by the courts–because of the inherently public nature of social media, we have a very limited expectation of privacy in what we post. Even a post that has been shared only with friends can be discovered in a civil or criminal case because we can reasonably assume that any post we share with a friend may be re-posted to the general public.
Whether you find yourself as the injured party or the defendant in a car accident case, your social media activity leading up to the accident can affect your case. Fortunately, the same is true for the other party, and your car accident attorney will be looking at their activity also. Some examples of social media activity that might have an impact on the outcome of a lawsuit after an accident:
If you are injured in an accident, the value of your case depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters and attorneys will be looking for evidence that will reduce the insurer’s liability. Anything you post on social media, and anything posted by your friends in which you are tagged, can be used to hurt your case.
If you are claiming physical and/or emotional injury, seemingly harmless posts can be used to suggest that your injuries are not as severe as you claim they are. Even something as innocuous as a photo of yourself at a friend’s birthday party may lead to accusations that your emotional state is not as you reported. Likewise, a photo of you river-rafting after the accident would obviously be used to show you were not in as much pain as you claimed to be. A photo will not necessarily show the physical pain you may be in, or the emotional pain you are trying to hide for the sake of your loved ones.
None of us know when an accident is going to happen, so we can’t anticipate when a post might turn into evidence. We should always be mindful of what we post, and understand that everything, even after be think we have removed it, is permanent. Before posting, ask yourself if you’d be fine seeing that post show up as an exhibit at trial.
After an accident, there are some precautions that will lessen the chance of your social media posts being used against you. Here are some suggestions:
Always consult an experienced car accident law firm before making any statements or dealing with an insurance company. The experts at Springs Law Group offer free consultations and will give you the answers you are looking for.