Can Social Media Posts Affect My Car Accident Case?
People often do not hesitate before posting on social media. Doing this in the moment without thinking is usually not harmful, but there is always a risk that it could be seen by the wrong parties. Information about car accidents should always be kept confidential. Sharing the details makes them public knowledge. This can impact the confidentiality protections that are in place when speaking with a car accident lawyer. In addition, car accident cases usually include sensitive financial and medical information, which should stay private.
Comments on social media about a car accident could also be misconstrued as an admission of fault. If the posts show the allegedly injured victim doing activities, at a party, or playing tennis, this might be used as evidence to show that the car accident injuries are not serious. Even if the person was pictured simply sitting at a restaurant, that photograph could work against them.
If an insurance company discovers that the car accident claimant was speaking poorly about them on social media, this could be interpreted as a clear sign of bad faith. They might argue that the person is negotiating with the wrong intentions, and this could lead to them changing their tactics; they might even deny the claim.
Is it Safe to Post on Social Media After an Accident?
Lawyers have the right to analyze public social media posts to look for evidence. This could be status updates, photographs, conversations, and videos. The safest thing to do after an accident is to stop all social media postings right away. If it is too late for that, the postings should be taken down as soon as possible. Temporarily disabling the accounts until the case is resolved is even better, but it is not always possible.
Anyone who is on social media should take care to update their privacy settings often, especially for those involved in car accident cases and other types of lawsuits. Every account should be logged in separately and updated, and only approved followers and friends should be able to view the posts. If the settings are public, the insurance company could be able to see what is there. If new friend requests come in, these should be carefully screened. It is never a good idea to accept requests from strangers. Some of these could even be from the adjuster’s office, so it is important to stay aware.
Asking family and friends to not post comments about the accident on social media is another important safeguard. For example, suppose a good friend posted that the claimant was vacationing just a few weeks after the accident. If an insurance adjuster managed to see the post, they might try to use it as evidence to deny the claimant’s medical expenses. The best course of action is to let family and friends know not to post. Tagging in photographs should also be stopped. It is also wise to ask them to update their privacy settings as an added safety measure.
If a social media moratorium is not feasible, a car accident victim needs to update their settings and get in touch with all of their online friends and family. Posting about the accident, the insurance companies, the claim, expenditures, and injuries are especially dangerous moves, and it is also safer to not post about social activities.
What are the Laws Regarding Social Media Posts and Accidents?
Social media posts can sometimes provide helpful information for plaintiffs in personal injury cases related to car accidents, but the risks are too great. Posts can be used as evidence, and every state has their own laws that apply to how social media posts can be used in car accident claims. As for federal guidelines, the Stored Communications Act (SCA) allows social media posts in the discovery phase of car accident lawsuits.
Pennsylvania has numerous car accident laws, and these will also impact how a car accident case is handled. At-fault states allow a claimant to be compensated from the liable driver who caused the accident, as well as their insurance company. No-fault states compensate victims from their own insurance providers, no matter who is at-fault. In Pennsylvania, auto accidents follow no-fault laws except in certain situations. One depends on the kind of auto insurance that the person has. Insurance companies must tell customers about certain coverage options, which include limited tort and full tort coverage.
Limited tort limits financial compensation for property damage and injuries when another driver is responsible for an accident. Victims can pursue compensation for medical treatment and other monetary losses but not for pain and suffering unless the crash caused significantly serious injuries, such as permanent disfigurement or the loss of a bodily function.
Full tort coverage costs more but provides unlimited rights when it comes to receiving financial compensation after a car accident. This includes medical treatment, property damage, pain and suffering, and other monetary losses. Injuries do not have to fall under the same category as limited tort.
Pennsylvania also has minimum insurance coverage laws that apply to all drivers licensed in the state. For medical benefits, it is $5,000; bodily injury liability per injured person is $15,000 with a limit of $30,000 per accident. For property damage, the at-fault party must have $5,000 coverage as the minimum limit.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
Even if a car accident is not serious, it can cause high anxiety and confusion for those involved, so these feelings are compounded when there are injuries. The first step is to calmly check to see if anyone needs medical attention and call 911 right away. Even if an injured party feels that they do not need medical treatment, it is best to not deny it when it is offered. Some injuries will show up afterwards, and this delay could impact the amount of compensation that is available.
During and after the accident, it is never a good idea to admit guilt or discuss too many details with the other party or the police. Law enforcement officers will prepare a police report, which can usually be obtained a few days later. If the claimant stated that they were texting, this could be written into the report. Injured parties should also take care to keep track of all their expenses, such as medical treatments, physical therapy sessions, medications, car repairs, and lost wages. A lawyer will be able to use the evidence to verify a claim.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Help Clients with Personal Injury Cases
It is never wise to post on social media when you are involved in any kind of lawsuit because it could damage your case. Contact a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC for help with compensation after a serious collision. Complete our online form or call us at 215-569-8488 for a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.