Women with broken hand taking photo

Avoid Posting on Social Media After Your Accident

Tormey & McConnell Nov. 8, 2023

In recent years, social media has become deeply integrated into our lives. We use Instagram, X, Facebook, TikTok, and other platforms to stay in touch and interact with our family, friends, and followers. For many people, social media is their way to express themselves, engage in conversations, and share updates about their lives.  

When a person is injured, it may be tempting for them to share their experience or vent their frustration on social media. However, doing so can lead to some unintended consequences, especially when your personal injury case is ongoing.  

At Tormey & McConnell, we understand the complexities involved when filing a personal injury claim and the role social media plays in it. Our attorneys help injured clients protect their rights and avoid making mistakes when pursuing the compensation owed to them. Our office is located in Amarillo, Texas, but we proudly serve clients in the surrounding areas, including Borger, Pampa, Dumas, Childress, Hereford, and Canyon.  

Social Media and Your Image

Even though social media has been an integral part of our lives for a while now, people still do not fully understand the significant role it plays and the risks associated with using social media. Particularly, we are talking about the way social media affects how other people perceive you. The images and videos you post online and the captions/comments you write can impact the conclusions people make about you when viewing your profile. In the context of a personal injury case, this can be especially dangerous because anything you post online is made easily available to anyone, including the person who caused your injuries, their attorney, and your insurance claims adjuster.  

How Social Media Can Affect Your Car Accident Case

Most people are not aware of the potential risks of using social media while their personal injury case after a car accident is pending. Below are some of the ways social media can negatively affect your claim to help you reconsider your overall relationship with social media before it is too late: 

  1. Contradictions. Posting updates about your condition, including photos, on Instagram, X, TikTok, or other platforms, could damage your credibility if the photos or videos you post or comments you make contradict your claim. For example, if you claim that you suffered a serious injury that prevents you from driving and engaging in other daily activities but post a selfie of you sitting behind the wheel of your car, doing so could potentially weaken or destroy your claim altogether due to contradictions.  

  1. Admission of fault. Many people do not realize that there are many ways to admit fault without ever saying, “I’m sorry” or “I was at fault.” The insurance claims adjuster may scrutinize your social media posts as well as the comments under your posts to look for any information available suggesting that you may have been at fault. For example, if you claim that the other driver was at fault after sideswiping your vehicle on an urban street, where the speed limit is 30 mph/hour in Texas, and someone in the comment section asks you how fast you were going when the accident occurred and you respond “about 50 mph/hour,” the insurance adjuster could use this information to shift the blame to you or make you partially at fault.  

  1. Lack of empathy. Insulting the other driver or making jokes about the car accident could damage your character by showcasing your lack of empathy. This could potentially hurt your chances of receiving adequate compensation. For example, if the driver who hit you made a mistake on the road and you use social media to insult and humiliate them, this can negatively impact your case.  

Insurance companies look for any reason to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible, which is why the insurance adjuster will most likely keep an eye on your social media accounts after the accident and while your case is ongoing.  

Steps to Take to Protect Yourself

Now that you know the negative impact of your social media activity on your personal injury case, you need to understand how you can protect yourself and avoid endangering your injury claim: 

  • Do not delete existing posts to hide them from the insurance claims adjuster or others. Doing so may be interpreted as your attempts to hide something and result in allegations that you are trying to destroy evidence.  

  • Google yourself and take an unbiased look at your social media accounts. Doing so can help you understand what someone can find out about you by googling your name or finding your accounts on social media platforms.  

  • Change your privacy settings. Consider setting your social media accounts to the highest level of privacy so that no one other than your friends and/or followers can view your posts.  

  • Consider taking a break from social media. By not posting anything on social media until your injury claim is settled, you can ensure that your social media activity does not end up compromising your claim.  

  • Look at the posts you were tagged in. Posts in which others tag you can be tricky because you may not have control over them and they can be taken out of context or otherwise hurt your injury claim.  

When in doubt about what to do, talk to your attorney to ensure that you avoid all possible mistakes that could hurt your case.  

Protecting Your Rights and Advocating for Your Future

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your family and friends, but at the same time, it can be harmful to your personal injury claim. Our attorneys at Tormey & McConnell know how frustrating and overwhelming the days and weeks following a car accident can be. We can provide you with critical advice on social media use and help you navigate the legal system while your injury claim is ongoing. Contact us today.