By: Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown

In What Ways Can Social Media Impact the Outcome of Your Personal Injury Case?

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What Are the Dangers of Posting About a Personal Injury Case on Social Media?

Social media, such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, has become a part of everyday life for many people. It’s a way to check in with friends and family or get involved with organizations and like-minded groups. It’s also a place many people turn to when they’ve been through something difficult or traumatic, such as a car accident. It seems logical to go to a place where friends and family may listen and provide support and sympathy.

However, posting about accidents on social media, even if your account is private, can backfire terribly. Here are some things to know and remember when you’re tempted to post on social media.

Your Account Is Not as Private as You Think

You may have diligently checked all your settings to allow only those you’ve accepted as followers or friends to see your account. However, that can backfire in a couple of ways.

Your followers may take screenshots of your posts and share them with others.

The state of Texas allows other attorneys or insurance representatives to access social media accounts if they can prove they’re relevant to the case and obtain legal permission (usually warrants or subpoenas).

In other words, what you think is private may not be private at all. Legally, what you consider a private conversation with like-minded people isn’t viewed that way in the eyes of the law if the posts provide information and opinions about the accident.

Anything Posted, Including Photos and Videos, Could Be Considered Evidence and Used Against You

When someone is in a car accident, especially a bad one, they may want to post photos or videos showing the aftermath. But those images and recordings could be used by the other party to demonstrate fault on your part.

Posts May Make You Look Less Injured Than You Are

When someone is badly injured in a car accident but posts a video of themselves walking around afterward, the other drivers involved may use that video to claim they weren’t severely injured at all. It can even work against you for something innocuous, such as walking in a park or dancing at a club. Anything that seems innocent to you could seem contradictory to the other party, their insurance representative, or their attorney.

Friends and Family Make Comments

Again, this can seem innocent to you, but friends and family may inadvertently make comments and suggestions that could be used against you, whether how quickly you seem to be recovering from injuries or how you should demand damages. They may mean no harm, but they can cause it to your case.

Your Comments May Be Interpreted as Apologies or Taking Blame for the Accident

If a jury could interpret your social media comments to mean you’re apologizing to the other party or taking the blame for the accident, your case for damages could be greatly weakened.

What Are Texas’ Comparative Negligence Laws?

Frequently, more than one driver has some fault for a car accident. For example, one driver was driving while under the influence (DUI) and crashed into a car that was speeding. In cases such as those, the court has to determine how much liability each party has for the accident and resulting injuries through what’s known as comparative negligence. Some states say that if the injured party is even 1% at fault, they can’t make claims. Others do the opposite, saying even if the victim is 99% at fault, they can still receive 1% of the damages.

In Texas, the comparative negligence laws state that if the injured party is found 51% or greater at fault for the accident, they don’t have the right to pursue damages. If they’re 50% or less at fault, they can receive damages minus the percentage of fault. In the example above, say the speeding driver was 40% at fault. If they’re awarded $10,000 in damages, they’ll receive only $6,000 total.

Social media posts can be scrutinized when determining how much fault either party has.

What Should I Do if I Need Help Filing for Damages with a Personal Injury Case?

First, see a doctor as soon as possible. You might think that your injuries are minor and of little consequence, but some injuries don’t show symptoms right away. Some of those injuries can be serious and will worsen if untreated. Another reason to see a doctor right away is that if you file claims based on a later diagnosis, the other party could try to claim that the injuries didn’t result from the car accident since you didn’t see a doctor at that point.

Then, call DB Law 24/7 at 346-818-3311 for your free nationwide case review. We can walk through the specifics of your case and determine the best approach. That might include tracking down social media posts from others involved in the accident.

Besides not posting on social media yourself, something else you should avoid doing is having any communication with the other party (other than exchanging names, contact details, and insurance info), their attorney, or insurance representative.

Because of Texas’ modified comparative negligence laws, they may try to get you to say something that indicates you believe you were at fault, or they might try to talk you into accepting a much lower settlement than you might be able to get. Say nothing; forward communications to your attorney.