8 Social Media Tips for Car Accident Claimants

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Social media can be lighthearted, funny, informative (e.g., who has the best New York Style Pizza in West Palm Beach?), and just plain fun. It can also be a catalyst for many positive changes; e.g., badly needed fundraisers. Nonetheless, because of the permanent nature of social media, what appears never truly disappears and has been the downfall of many people who were just expressing what was on their mind at the time. Social media is certainly not the place to vent when you are angry.

If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, your best default position regarding any discussion of your claim on social media should be: Don’t. If you have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, boating accident, or have any other type of legal claim, contact a Florida injury attorney for advice before you say anything on social media.

The “Don’ts” of Social Media (There Aren’t Any “Dos”)

Remember, you have one single chance to collect everything you’re entitled to after an injury. When your case is settled or resolved in court, you can’t come back later and ask for more. That said, it is financially counter-productive to ruin your claim because of a few misplaced or misinterpreted social media posts. Be careful, and remember these eight crucial tips:

  • While your claim is pending, limit your use of social media. Avoid it entirely if possible.
  • Think carefully before posting pictures, videos, or check-ins that involve certain activities or locations.
  • Never discuss your case online or even offline for that matter. 
  • Never discuss your communications with your attorneys online or offline. This may destroy the attorney-client privilege.
  • Never discuss your injuries online or offline. While friends and family are always curious and concerned, posting updates about your treatment and injuries can damage your case.
  • Educate your friends and family regarding the “don’ts” of social media regarding your case.
  • Set your social media to “private.” This will help prevent outside parties from easily accessing everything you post online.
  • Most importantly: When in doubt, don’t.

The Potential Effects of Social Media on Your Claim

Our Florida injury attorney knows that posting information about your claim, even if done honestly and innocently, can have a variety of negative effects, including:

  • Your Updates May Show Your Injuries Aren’t as Bad as You Claim. Defense lawyers may use your social media postings to contradict the severity of your injuries. For example, if you claim that you broke your leg and then post pictures from a family vacation where you’re water skiing, the defense may use the photos to show your physical capabilities and dispute your injuries.
  • Your Updates May Contradict Your Testimony. When you post on social media about your case, you might say something that directly or indirectly contradicts what you’re claiming in your case.
  • Posts From Friends and Family. Even the things that your friends and family post on social media can hurt your case. They might contradict your claims about your injuries or discuss how much money you are seeking.

If you are interested in filing a case or an insurance claim after an accident, let a Florida injury attorney guide you and set out the rules for communicating information regarding your claim.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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