Reasons to Avoid Posting About a Car Accident on Social Media
If you’ve been in a serious car accident and someone else was to blame, you might have a substantial claim for relief. It’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, before you start discussing the case with anyone else, and especially before you start posting on social media. Posting about your accident on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, or any other social media site is likely to hurt your case and limit your rights. In truth, you should post as little as possible until the case is resolved to avoid inadvertently undermining your car accident injury claims. Below, we discuss a few reasons why posting on social media is unwise after a car crash. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash in Los Angeles or Orange County, call a dedicated Southern California auto accident lawyer at Machtinger Law for advice and assistance.
Accidental Admission of Fault
We are raised to be polite. When something bad happens, we tend to say “I’m sorry” almost by default. After a car crash, however, it’s important that you catch yourself before doing so. When there’s a legal claim involved, saying “I’m sorry” is considered an admission that whatever happened was your fault. If multiple people were injured in your accident, for example, and you post that you feel sorry for their friends and family, the defense may use that post to argue you caused the accident. Even if you are simply trying to be polite and wish them well, you might accidentally hurt your case.
Waiving Legal Privilege
When you hire a lawyer to help you with your personal injury case, you benefit from the “attorney-client privilege.” That privilege protects everything you say to your attorney about your case from disclosure in court. You and your lawyer will discuss your legal strategy, the facts of your case, areas of your claim that need more evidence to support your position, etc.
The privilege is not absolute, however; it can be “waived,” or given up. If you post about something you and your attorney discussed, especially if you say something along the lines of “my lawyer told me,” then you could be waiving your privilege not only for what you are specifically posting about but also for a much wider range of attorney-client discussions. You do not want the defense attorney to get their hands on your conversations with your lawyer, as that could severely weaken your case or otherwise give them an advantage.
Undermining Your Injury Claims
Your ultimate settlement or jury award depends heavily on the severity of your injuries. Posting the wrong thing on social media can severely undermine your claims about the severity of your injuries. If you and your attorney are arguing that you are too injured to work or perform daily activities, and then you post about a sporting event or going on a trip, the defense attorney or insurance company will argue that you’ve been overstating your injuries. Even posting that you are “doing fine” and “recovering well,” meant to reassure your friends and family after your accident, can be used against you.
Moreover, the defense might argue that your pictures show that you’ve been ignoring your doctor’s advice. If you were supposed to be bedridden and you post about some adventure, the insurance company or defense lawyer may argue that you have caused your own injuries to worsen, so they should not be held liable for the full extent of your injuries. Even if the post or picture is taken out of context, it can still hurt your case.
Even “Private” Posts Can Be Accessed
You should assume that anything you post publicly will be scrutinized by the insurance company and defense lawyers. It’s their job to look for ways to weaken your case. However, even if you post something and make it “private” to your close friends and family, it could still affect your case. If the other side has reason to believe that your post relates to your accident, your health, or anything else related to your case, they can request a subpoena to get that post brought into your case as evidence. Anything you say online can and will be used against you (outside of privileged conversations like those with your lawyer or doctor).
Call Today for Experienced Representation and Trusted Advice After a Car Crash in Los Angeles or Orange County
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt or worse in a car accident in Los Angeles or Orange County, call Machtinger Law for advice and representation from a thorough, comprehensive Southern California traffic accident attorney.