Can Using Your Facebook Account After a Missouri Car Accident Hurt Your Case?
In a word: Absolutely.
Many victims with severe injuries have been forced to take low settlements as a result of information they put out on social media after a car crash. Even for posting something as seemingly harmless as a picture of themselves smiling.
After you have been injured, it’s normal to want to share whats going on in your recovery with your friends and family. Obviously social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook make it easy to contact everyone at once. This creates a real problem in that they also make it easy for opposing attorneys and insurance company adjuster to find information to discredit your injury claim. They don’t need to hire a private investigator to follow you. You are doing their job for them by posting.
Here are a few guidelines to using Facebook while your Missouri accident claim is pending:
What to Post (And Not to Post) on Social Media After Your Accident
I recommend you and your family post nothing about the accident.
If you think making your account private will allow you to still use your account, you are likely wrong. The negligent driver’s insurance company can force you to turn over the information in your account (and may even try to get your password).
If you ignore the above advice remember the following:
Statuses. Everything on your page should be consistent with what you are claiming. It is best to post as little as possible, and if you do, you should not discuss your injuries or activities. Don’t rant about the accident or the insurance companies involved (including your own).
Photos. You should not post pictures of yourself, and ask your friends to not tag you or mention you in their posts.
Comments. Any search of your name could allow someone to possibly see all of your postings, including comments on other people’s FB page. Even a simple response to a friend’s question, such as mentioning you plan on attending some event, could hurt your case. Before responding to someone else’s posts, remember you don’t know who may be reading it.
Videos. Don’t ever do it while your case is going. The people you are seeking compensation from may still be able to access anything you have posted online.
Deleted accounts. Many victims are understandably tempted to simply delete their posts, or even delete their social media accounts altogether. However, a sudden disappearance of your online persona could raise suspicion in court, and could be viewed as a destruction of evidence. Again the best option is to put your social media accounts on hold while your case is pending.
Finally you should never ever post any details, regardless of how minor you think they might seem, about your case. Your conversations with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege, but if you put this information online, you waive that privilege and the opposing side can ask you questions about it.
Unfortunately, if you attempt to pursue a claim without the assistance of an experienced attorney, you cannot go back and undo what you have already done. Learn more about these missteps (and how to avoid them) in my free book before you speak with another lawyer or anyone from the other drivers insurance company.
Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn when you open the pages of this book:
- How to properly handle inquiries from the insurance company… it’s sad, but being a “nice guy” and answering “a few simple questions” can cost you dearly!
- Keys to determining just how much your case is worth – the many different factors that can literally mean thousands, if not tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
- 8 ways to make sure any lawyer you choose to represent you can make the most effective arguments on your behalf.
- DANGERS of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – the key mistakes you do NOT want to make on Social Media immediately after your accident and while your case is being settled.
- What to do if the insurance company offers to pay your medical bills… do NOT just jump at the chance, it could well be a big WARNING sign going off!
- 6 common mistakes you do NOT want to make that could negatively affect your case in a big way.
Clearly, situations where a victim would benefit from legal representation for a car accident claim far outnumber situations in which having an attorney is unnecessary. Fortunately, we are here to provide you with the assistance you need after a crash. When you are ready to take the next steps, contact me at 417 883-5886 or Toll Free a 1800 345-0535 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
That’s why I created a service I’m calling My 5 Point “Accept No Limits” Consultation – it has a real retail value of $299, but because I want to help as many people as I can get the answers they need during times of extreme hardship and difficulty, I’m making a limited number of these available at absolutely no charge. All you need to do is call my office at (417) 883-5886 or Toll Free 1(800) 345-0535 reserve your spot. We are located at 2838 S. Ingram Mill Road Springfield Missouri but handle cases all over Missouri and Arkansas.
Here are the different elements of what you’ll experience during this in-depth consultation:
- A Real, Live Face-to-Face Meeting. We’ll meet face-to-face to discuss the specific details of your accident and what happened. You won’t be filling out a web-based data entry form, sending an email, sitting on hold waiting for a real human to answer – you and I will sit down in a room and talk things through. We’ll get to know each other the old-fashioned way – where we can share and learn from each other.
- A Comprehensive Situational Assessment. I’ll let you tell your story in your own words – you talk, I listen. As appropriate, I’ll ask questions to help you recall ALL the details – to make sure we both end up with an identical picture of exactly what happened that put you in this situation.
- A Preliminary Documentation Review. I’ll conduct a preliminary review of any supporting documentation you have that’s relevant to the accident and situation – this includes photographs, accident reports, police investigation notes, citations, and any witness statements. In addition, I’ll review information about your accident and injury, which could include repair bills, doctor’s notes, emergency room notes, photographs, X-Ray results and MRI results. In addition, I’ll check to see how your automobile insurance and health insurance factors into your current and potential future situation.
- An Honest and Open Q&A Session. I’ll answer any questions that you may have – such as how medical treatments will get paid for, how long the overall process will take, potential awards from the Insurance company, costs of litigation, and more. I’ll be open, honest, and do everything I can to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
- Your Customized “Next Steps to Fairness” Proposal. Finally, after going over your situation, I’ll lay out in clear, easy-to-understand language, what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of your case. In addition, you’ll walk away with specific suggestions on what I see as your best course of action moving forward.
GUARANTEE: While I can’t guarantee ultimate results, I will guarantee our conversation will provide clear, actionable information that you can use to move forward with confidence knowing you’ve received timely and prudent advice.