Use Social Media Wisely After a Crash
Social media, used correctly, can help us keep in touch with people we otherwise would drift apart from. Families around the world can watch as they grow and develop, grandparents can watch their grandchildren in real time, and childhood friends can stay connected even though they haven’t seen each other in years.
If you have been involved in a car wreck, it’s tempting to get on social media to ensure those who care about you know what happened, and perhaps dispel any rumors that may pop up about what occurred. There are, however, some issues that can arise. Let’s take a look at what the Car Crash Captain has to say about the matter.
Should I Use Social Media After a Car Wreck?
The short answer: no.
The longer answer: not until after the settlement is complete. Anything you post online could be twisted and used against you. If you have ever watched the TV show COPS, you’ve probably heard suspects being read their Miranda Warning. Part of that warning says, “…can, and will be, used against you…” Anything you post online, the insurance companies can, and will, use against you to reduce, or ultimately negate, your settlement.
Even something that seems innocent can be twisted. For instance, you sustained a back injury and can’t engage in athletics. But you show up to your team’s game in solidarity and support. Even though you’re not playing, you post about it. Now you have to prove that you actually weren’t playing.
Should I Delete my Social Media?
Deleting all social accounts can look suspicious. It can appear that you’re trying to destroy evidence, or make it harder to access something that could go against your case. There are, however, better ways.
Archive – Major social media platforms have ways to archive your account. Everything about your account can be saved and downloaded to your computer (and to the cloud for a protection).
Deactivate – After archiving the account you are able to deactivate your account for a time. For anyone looking from the outside, it will appear as though you don’t have a social media account. Retaining your password, you can re-activate the account when the settlement is done.
Go Invisible – Reducing your visibility isn’t a sure-fire method to prevent someone from seeing your account (we’ll get to why soon). However, you can reduce your visibility to only friends so it’s harder for a third party to find you.
Keep in mind that even if you go invisible, de-activate, or even delete your accounts the information is still out there and can be recalled with court orders.
Can I Text or Use Direct Messaging About my Wreck?
If it’s typed, it’s saved forever. Even a document on your computer that has gone into the trash and the trash has been deleted might be able to be recalled for a time. Anything sent through a text or through a DM is re-callable forever.
Suppose your aunt texts you and says, “I heard you were in a wreck, are you okay?” and you reply, “Yes, Aunt, I am doing well, thanks for your concern.” It seems innocuous, but if your settlement goes to court, your text messages can be subpoenaed. If you’re admitting to your aunt that you’re doing well, the insurance company’s lawyers may argue that you were never injured to begin with.
Keep the texts and DM’s to a minimum, don’t talk about the wreck in any written communication – except that which your personal injury lawyer says is acceptable.
What if Everything on my Social Media Accounts is Private?
Most people have their accounts set to private. There’s no reason for strangers to see your family pictures, and for your protection an account set to private is a good idea.
But it’s not absolutely private.
Anything posted online is considered public information. Even information posted privately. There are actually a few ways these companies could access your private posts.
Befriend You – If you have your settings to “family and friends” only, the insurance company might sneakily try to befriend you. If you accept that connection request, now they can see whatever private information you have posted.
Befriend a Friend – When you are diligent and won’t accept requests from unknown people, you might still be open. If the insurance company is able to get on your friend’s good graces, they could ask them to check if you have posted recently.
Court Order – Just like those texts or direct messages, if it comes down to it, the insurance company can get a court order and force you to disclose everything on your social media. If you don’t, they can download it right from the servers wherever the platform stores that information.
Herbert Law Group Can Maximize Your Settlement
Can you use social media after a wreck? Sure, most of what people post isn’t going to cause issues or lead to problems. But if there are millions of dollars on the line, it’s going to be a priority for the insurance company to twist any information they can find to deny your claim. Even if they can’t, it drags the settlement out much longer than necessary.
As soon as you’re involved in the wreck, it’s time to get a Texas car wreck lawyer on board to ensure all goes smoothly. That’s what Herbert Law Group is all about.