Social Media Mistakes After an Accident DC Car Accident Lawyer
After an accident, insurance companies will do everything they can to pay as little as possible in a settlement. One method used to discredit the claims of the injured party is by using his or her social media posts.
To illustrate, let’s look at a case that occurred in New York in 2010.
The Plaintiff, Kathleen Romano, fell off of her office chair. She alleged that the defective chair caused the fall, and that as a result of her fall, she sustained “serious permanent personal injuries” and “pain and progressive deterioration [that caused a] loss of enjoyment of life.” The Defendant, Steelcase, Inc. had seen public posts on Facebook and MySpace, and argued that the posts contradicted her story. The posts showed her active lifestyle and her travels away from home during the same period in which she claimed her injuries rendered her incapable of doing so.
The court ruled that information designated as “private” may be accessed by the defendant during pre-trial discovery. Romano v. Steelcase Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 20388, 30 Misc. 3d 426, 907 N.Y.S.2d 650 (Sup. Ct.) The information contained in her social media posts was used against her.
Insurance companies are looking for information on any and all forums (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that may be damaging to your case – specifically, evidence that contradicts your story. If, the day after an accident, you post a photograph smiling, happy and healthy, the insurance company will think you are lying about the severity of your injuries.
The tough truth is that the only people who need updates on your physical health are your immediate family, doctors, and your attorney. These updates do not need to happen on Facebook and Twitter.
A good rule of thumb to live by is not to post from the date of your accident until the date of your settlement (yes – even if your profile is set to private). Private does not mean invisible.
You should be preventative. Do not accept new friend requests, and ask your friends, family members, and coworkers not to discuss you in any manner online until your case has concluded.
If you do post, assume that the defense will see the post, and that it will hurt your case.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence or wrongful conduct, the experienced attorneys at Cohen & Cohen can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (202) 955-4529 for a free case evaluation.