The Perils of Social Media: How Posting After an Auto or Motorcycle Accident Can Harm Your Colorado Personal Injury Case
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
March 29, 2023
The aftermath of an auto or motorcycle accident can be a confusing and emotional time. In the era of social media, it is common for people to share their experiences and seek support from their online communities. However, if you have been involved in an accident in Colorado and are considering filing a personal injury claim, you should be aware that posting on social media can have negative consequences for your case.
Believe it or not, the defendant’s insurance company may use your posts to undermine your claim, so it is crucial to be cautious with your online activity.
Examples of What NOTto Post on Social Media
Photos and videos of the accident scene: While it is an excellent idea to document the accident scene for use in your claim, you should never post the images. You may think that insurance companies would never go so far as to troll through your Insta account, or your Facebook posts, but they absolutely will. Insurance companies do everything in their power to limit how much they have to pay you. Your images of the accident scene can be used by insurance companies to question the severity of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Document the accident, but don’t post.
Statements about fault or responsibility: In this era of over-sharing, it can be tempting to seek sympathy on social media by posting about your car or motorcycle crash. However, even seemingly benign posts can be misinterpreted and manipulated by insurance companies. Avoid making any statements online about who was at fault for the accident or admitting any responsibility. Insurance companies may use these statements to argue that you were partially or entirely at fault, potentially reducing your compensation.
Updates on your injuries or medical treatment: While you may want to keep your friends and family informed about your recovery, posting updates about your medical condition can be harmful to your case. You may have good days when you’re feeling a bit better. Maybe you “graduated” from a certain phase of your treatment. Fantastic! But the healing journey ahead might still be rough. If you post something about your good day, insurance companies may use this information to argue that your injuries were not as severe as claimed or that you have made a full recovery.
Posts about your daily activities: Similar to posts about your medical condition, insurance companies may scrutinize your posts about daily activities, hobbies, and vacations to argue that you are not as injured as you claim to be. For example, if you post a photo of yourself hiking shortly after the accident, the defendant’s insurance company may argue that you are exaggerating your injuries. If you have ever been seriously injured, you know that recovery ebbs and flows. There are good days and bad days. If you post your activities on the days when you’re feeling great, those can be used against you.
Check-ins and location tags: Be cautious about checking in at various locations or tagging yourself in photos, as this information can be used to track your activities and question the impact of your injuries on your daily life.
Basically, my advice to people who have been injured in car accidents is to “go dark” on social media until you hire a Colorado personal injury attorney. He or she can tell you what is safe and what isn’t.
How Social Media Posts Can Be Used Against You
The other driver’s insurance company can use your social media posts in several ways to undermine your personal injury case. In a nutshell, it all comes down to offering less compensation in your settlement.
Challenging the severity of your injuries: By scrutinizing your posts and activities, insurance companies may argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed, leading to a reduced settlement offer or a denial of your claim.
Questioning your credibility: If your social media posts contradict the information provided in your personal injury claim, insurance companies may use this to question your credibility, which can weaken your entire case.
Establishing contributory negligence (aka: Accusing you of also causing the accident): In Colorado, the law allows for a “modified comparative negligence system,” meaning that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced accordingly. Insurance companies can use your social media posts to argue that you contributed to the accident, ultimately reducing your potential compensation.
Just Don’t Do It: Don’t Post Anything on Social Media After a Car or Motorcycle Accident in Colorado
In the aftermath of an auto or motorcycle accident, it is crucial to be cautious about what you post on social media. To protect your Colorado personal injury case, avoid sharing information about the accident, your injuries, or your daily activities. It is always wise to consult with a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process and help you make the best decisions for your case.