Can Social Media Affect Your Car Accident Claim?
Many people today maintain active social media profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other popular sites. However, accident victims must always be aware of what they post on these sites, especially when it pertains to their physical activities.
Insurance companies and their adjusters regularly scrutinize accident victims’ social media profiles and online presence. If they uncover a post that can potentially hurt your case and limit your monetary payout, they will not hesitate to use it against you at a deposition or in the courtroom. Such postings may include photographs or videos of you partaking in strenuous physical activities, such as a race or weightlifting, at some point after your car accident.
One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to avoid posting on social media altogether while your car accident case is pending.
A knowledgeable Orange County car accident attorney in your area can help you file a claim for legal damages and, if necessary, a lawsuit in the court system. Moreover, your lawyer can minimize any weaknesses in your personal injury claim or lawsuit while highlighting the strengths of your case.
The Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Claim
In a California car accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim has the legal burden of proof. The at-fault driver, on the other hand, does not need to prove anything in the case. However, that driver’s lawyer can poke holes in your case, preventing you from establishing your legal burden and minimizing your potential monetary recovery.
To obtain monetary compensation for your accident-related injuries, you must first demonstrate that another person acted negligently under the circumstances. In the context of a car accident, another driver engaged in distracted driving, violated a rule of the road, or operated their vehicle while intoxicated. At other times, the at-fault driver might have engaged in some type of road rage.
The accident victim must also demonstrate that the at-fault driver’s negligent actions or inactions caused the accident. Finally, the accident victim must show, through medical testimony, that they suffered at least one injury as a direct result of their accident.
A knowledgeable California car crash attorney in your area can help you prove the legal elements of your case and maximize the damages that you are eligible to recover.
Potential Damages in a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit
Victims of car accidents may suffer severe and debilitating injuries. The types of injuries depend upon numerous factors, including the type of car accident that occurs, the force of the collision, and the way the body moves in the car during the crash. Some crashes are so forceful that an accident victim’s body strikes something in their vehicle, like the steering wheel, headrest, window, or dashboard, causing serious injuries.
Common injuries that car crash victims suffer include traumatic head and brain injuries, soft tissue contusions, bone fractures, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, bruises, cuts, and abrasions.
If you can demonstrate that your injuries directly resulted from the subject car accident, you may be eligible to recover various damages. However, the damages that one accident victim recovers may differ from those another accident victim receives. The types and amounts of recoverable damages usually depend upon the force of the crash, the nature and extent of the accident victim’s injuries, and the cost of the accident victim’s medical treatment.
Potential damages that car crash victims may recover include compensation for related medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering, loss of use of a body part, and loss of life enjoyment.
A knowledgeable OC car accident attorney can review your case with you and determine your eligibility for recovering these and other monetary damages.
Potential Effects of Social Media Postings on a Car Accident Claim
Social media postings following a car accident can have a tremendous effect on the damages you recover in your case. Insurance companies, along with their adjusters and attorneys, regularly scour social media websites to try and obtain damaging information on the accident victim.
In fact, most written interrogatory questions that the parties exchange during discovery ask about social media presences, usernames, and profiles. Moreover, at a deposition, the defense attorney will likely ask the accident victim directly if they have any social media profiles and, if so, the usernames for those profiles.
When it comes to sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, any public postings are fair game for the insurance company to use against you. The photos and videos that are most damaging to a car accident claim include those that show:
- The accident victim participating in a strenuous physical activity
- The accident victim going on a vacation somewhere outside the country — especially an overseas trip where the accident victim travels by plane
- The accident victim riding a roller coaster or other fast ride that can aggravate their claimed injuries
If you already have a social media post online that can negatively affect your car accident claim or lawsuit, you should not delete it. Otherwise, the insurance company may accuse you of attempting to destroy evidence. However, there are certain steps that your lawyer may take to help you minimize the consequences of the online post.
Call a California Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a California car crash, it is vital that you have an experienced car accident lawyer representing you every step of the way. First, your lawyer can file a legal claim on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company adjuster. If you have potentially damaging social media postings, your lawyer can help you downplay those weaknesses, stressing that they do not necessarily reflect your current physical condition. If necessary, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the court system to an efficient conclusion.