Social Media and Auto Accidents: A Risky Cocktail
Many people underestimate the dangerous relationship between social media and auto accidents. It might feel therapeutic to vent online, but doing so can risk your credibility and even give insurance companies ammunition against your personal injury lawsuit. For one, these posts can be used as evidence that could undermine your claim. If you post a photo of yourself smiling at the scene, insurance companies or defense attorneys might argue that you weren't really hurt, thereby diminishing the value of your claim.
The role that social media plays in contributing to distracted driving accidents cannot be overstated. According to ridester.com, almost 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting and driving. If you're posting an update or a selfie, you're not just risking an accident—you're also creating evidence that could be used against you in a court of law.
Real-time Updates: Are They Really Necessary?
The impulse to share real-time updates, especially during stressful moments like auto accidents, is quite natural. From global news events to your friend's lunch, social media provides a constant stream of real-time information. However, when it comes to accidents, real-time updates can be more harmful than helpful.
While your friends and family are naturally concerned about your well-being, posting real-time updates about your accident could jeopardize your personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies are becoming increasingly savvy about using social media to gather evidence. Your "I'm okay" tweet might be interpreted as a formal statement about your physical condition, thereby impacting your claim.
Insurance Investigators: Social Media's Silent Observers
In the aftermath of an accident, you're not just dealing with physical recovery and insurance claims. There's another, more covert entity at play—insurance investigators. These investigators often take to social media to gather evidence.
Investigators scour your posts, your tagged photos, and even comments on your feed looking for inconsistencies in your story or evidence that could invalidate your claim. A photo of you lifting a heavy bag could be used to question the severity of your injuries, for example.
Is it Legal for Insurance Adjusters to Spy on You in Georgia?
If you find yourself asking, "Can insurance adjusters spy on me in Georgia?" you should know that the answer is generally yes. After an auto accident, insurance companies have been known to engage in surveillance activities, including hiring private investigators to film you at home or around town. If your social media profiles are public, it's usually legal for adjusters to review them as part of their investigation into your claim. However, it's important to understand that while such practices are often legal, they do have ethical and legal boundaries that must be respected
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer Before Posting
Before you post anything on social media, consult with your hometown personal injury lawyer. They’ll help you understand what data can and can’t be used against you after your accident while advising you on how to navigate the complex maze of insurance claims while ensuring that you don’t accidentally damage your personal injury lawsuit.
As per the advice of many personal injury lawyers, limiting the information you share on social media until your case is settled is generally a good idea. Sharing details about your injuries, your vehicle, or the accident scene can give insurance companies ammo to devalue your claim.
Even more, deleting problematic posts might seem like the perfect solution, but it may lead to accusations of evidence tampering, creating a fresh set of issues. You can definitely book a free case assessment with The Edmonson Law Firm, or with any Georgia-based accident attorney of your choice, before making any public statements related to your accident.
Some might search for "John Edmondson Attorney" when they actually mean John Edmonson. Whether you spell it Edmonson or Edmondson, what's crucial is finding an experienced attorney who can guide you through the intricacies of dealing with insurance investigators and adjusters.
Stay tuned for the final part of this series, where we'll delve into how even your privacy settings may not provide the protection you expect. We will also discuss the first steps to take to protect your interests legally after an accident. Scheduled for release on Thursday, August 31, 2023: "The Unseen Risks of Social Media After an Auto Accident, and Your Initial Consultation."