Our Louisville Auto Accident Attorneys at Murphy & Associates recognize that a motor vehicle collision constitutes a significant event in the lives of vehicle occupants. People now generally share minor daily activities like dining out at a restaurant on their Facebook page and other social media sites. The impact of a car accident might tempt injury victims to share the circumstances surrounding the crash, their physical or emotional recovery and status of any legal claim with friends and family on the web. However, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are increasingly turning up as powerful evidence in personal injury lawsuits. The best practice for those who suffer injury in a car accident is to suspend any activity on social media websites for a number of reasons we discuss below.
Disputed Facts: While the cause of some car accidents is fairly clear, this is the exception rather than the rule. Many lawsuits involving motor vehicle crashes involve parties that strongly dispute fault in an accident. Comments that seem neutral when posted on your Facebook page can be twisted to seem like an admission of fault by experienced insurance defense attorneys. If you post that “the other driver came out of nowhere and hit me,” this might be construed to suggest you failed to keep a safe lookout before entering an intersection. Those pursuing legal claims for injuries suffered in an auto accident in Louisville or elsewhere in Kentucky needs to assume that the other driver’s insurance company will review your social media posts.
Undermining Damage Claims: Although individuals who suffer painful injuries in auto collisions may have days that they feel capable of more activity, this can prove problematic if an injury victim posts pictures on a social media site. Although you suffer from chronic back and neck pain, there may be good days when you can do light gardening in the front yard or move light boxes. When you post picture on your social media site labeled “Spring Cleaning Day,” these pictures may be used to suggest that you are overstating the severity of your injuries or fabricating injuries that do not really exist.
Dangers of Internet Anonymity: Because insurance carriers have learned that social media activity can provide a wealth of valuable information to be used in a personal injury claim, investigators for the insurance company may even attempt to contact you anonymously through email or instant messaging. The problem is that there is no way to be sure that this new person is not someone looking for information that will compromise your personal injury lawsuit. While the best practice is to cease using social media websites like Facebook entirely during the pendency of a legal claim for damages, injury victims should never correspond with unfamiliar parties through their social media site.
Lack of Privacy: Many people presume that private areas of their social media pages are indeed private. However, judges in an increasing number of cases are requiring plaintiffs to provide their login information to the other side during the discovery process. This means that ALL information on your social media site may be available to the insurance investigators and insurance attorneys representing the other drivers. Further, judges have even sanctioned parties for attempting to delete or alter such information after being ordered to provide passwords and login information so deactivating your social media site and discontinuing use should happen now rather than later. The judge might order you to pay the other side’s attorney fees and/or instruct the jury to presume the information that was deleted would have been favorable to the other side on the relevant issue.
Our experienced Louisville Auto Collision Attorneys recommend that individuals pursuing a motor vehicle accident legal claim immediately discontinue social media activities. If you have questions about this recommendation, we invite you to contact us to discuss the risks and options. Our Kentucky Auto Collision Lawyers at Murphy & Associates, PLC are committed to obtaining compensation for those who are injured by negligent and reckless drivers. If you or a family member suffers serious injury or a loved one dies in a motor vehicle collisions, we invite you to call us for a free initial consultation at (502) 203-0167 to learn how we can help!