Did you know that it is a bad idea to use social media after your accident? It is. In fact, it can cost you thousands of dollars in compensation that you could have used for medical treatment.
How? Imagine this: You’re the victim of an awful motorcycle accident. The other driver is clearly at fault and, depending on your injuries and medical needs, you may be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. But one day, you’re finally having a good day after the accident, and you take a picture of yourself hiking Long’s Peak and you post it on Facebook. You were in tremendous back pain the entire hike but felt so proud of yourself that you just had to share the image with your friends because they’ve all been rooting for you and supporting you since the accident. You want them to know you’re a fighter!
But that single image could mean that you say “bye-bye” to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other driver’s insurance company will use that post to prove that your injuries aren’t very bad and that they don’t owe you as much as you originally stated.
I’m not in any way suggesting that people lie about their injuries. I don’t promote or tolerate false reporting of injuries. But I’ve also seen people with traumatic injuries enjoy one good day and get excited because they feel like they’re getting their lives back together, and they mistakenly tell insurance companies, “I feel like I’m getting better,” only to be in bad shape the next day. Healing is messy like that.
Don’t Post Anything About Your Accident
We live in a sharing culture. A baby gets her first tooth (something babies have been doing since, like, forever) and it goes viral to millions of people all over the world. It’s especially fun to share your life with family and friends whom you don’t get to see often. But you need to be very careful about how you use social media after a car accident.
I saw a recent case in which a woman was terribly injured in a DUI accident. Her case seemed straight out of a text book; I bet the other driver’s insurance company was getting ready to cut her a huge check just to be done with the case. But then she went and posted a picture of herself on Facebook… at a square-dancing event! I kid you not. The picture didn’t capture the wheelchair she had just abandoned to try to – finally – stand up and enjoy time on her feet with her friends. But the damage was done. She didn’t get everything she requested and, I’m guessing, her medical bills will be higher than her settlement.
We tell kids all the time to be careful what they post online because colleges and future employers now include social media in their selection processes. Do you really think an insurance company with thousands of dollars on the line won’t troll your social media use for items they can use against you?
Please, if you’re in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Don’t post an update.
Shut Down Your Social Media After an Accident
In fact, I recommend that you take the “nuclear option” after an accident and shut down your social media entirely. Often, I have clients balk at such a drastic measure. They promise, “I promise not to post anything about my accident!” But I don’t want them to post ANYTHING! And secondly, I don’t want their friends to tag them in their images or posts.
Your social media content can be subpoenaed in a court case. You could be forced to turn it all over. So, if you’re curious about what to say on social media after a crash, the answer is NADA! Say nothing. Also shut it all down so your friends can’t post anything. Go dark until your case is over.
The lesson here: social media is fraught with peril. No driving and using social media. No using social media after a car accident. However, I’d love to see your baby’s first tooth!
Questions? Call or email me! 303-388-5304, firstname.lastname@example.org