How Social Media Can Hurt Your Michigan Auto Accident Case

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How Social Media Can Hurt Your Michigan Car Accident Case

social media posts affecting accident claims

The best advice is to not post on social media at all.

Social media has become an important part of the daily lives of many people. The number of hours we are spending on apps like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and others seems to increase every year. Social media can be a fun way to interact with friends, family, and even strangers. But if you are filing a Michigan personal injury claim, what is posted on social media about you can damage your case.

Insurance companies have employees and sometimes hire outside companies to search social media profiles for pictures, posts, conversations, and information that can be used against an injured person’s case. When a lawsuit is filed, defense attorneys will demand that you not erase any posts and ask for paper copies of various posts and comments made on social media. Failing to do this can result in sanctions from a judge and other problems. This article helps to explain how social media plays a role in your case.

Why you need to be careful posting on social media after a crash

If you are involved in a Michigan car accident, your job is to focus on getting better and allowing your Michigan car accident lawyer to get you the best outcome. But after a crash, the insurance company will do what is best to protect its business interests, rather than yours. This is true even if you were not at fault for causing the car accident.

Insurance companies go to great lengths to look for any clues to minimize your case. With their attorneys, big insurance companies like Allstate and State Farm are experienced in investigating and they know right where to go to gather information. An easy place is a social media platform, and anywhere else online where your name may pop up. They work quickly and are savvy in finding ways to seek out online conversations, social media posts, photos, videos, and comments about you.

One single post can be taken out of context and used against you to drive down the settlement value of your case.

What you shouldn’t post on social media after a Michigan car accident

The Michigan car accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. understand your post-accident situation well. We understand you are frustrated and anxious. Ideally, it would be best to avoid posing on social media altogether after a crash. However, if you are unable to get off social media, the following are some tips for using social media responsibly after a car accident.

  • Don’t go on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and post pictures about the accident or your injuries while waiting for medical help or the police to arrive.
  • Don’t post the details of the accident or post any photos of yourself or your activities.
  • Don’t post about your car accident or the injuries even if you intend to be positive. For example, “I am feeling so much better” can be taken out of context. An insurance company will interpret this as if you are completely healed from the crash, even if it just means you are having a good few days.
  • Don’t post any selfies. Again, photographs can be taken out context and may contradict sworn statements provided in your case.
  • Don’t discuss your pain symptoms, activities, damage to your car, photos of your car, or get into discussions about car accidents with other people on social media.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you do not know, especially if these requests occur after the accident. It might be a private investigator working for the insurance company who wants to follow your activities and everyday moves to build a case against you.
  • Don’t ever post your location or use the ‘Check-In’ feature to show others where you are. Having someone see your location may lead to the wrong assumption about your activity level and diminish your total medical and financial recovery.
  • Don’t delete your posts. Deleted posts can be recovered and can be interpreted as tampering with evidence.
  • Don’t make angry comments or say inappropriate things. Again, these comments can be used against you during your case, even if they have nothing to do with the car accident.

What should you do to protect yourself from social media after a car accident?

There are proactive steps you can take regarding social media after a car accident. Again, the best step is to deactivate all of your accounts and take a rest on social media while your case plays out. But if you can’t do this, here is a list of things to consider:

  • Review all your social networking apps, monitor and check accounts often, and delete the ones you no longer use.
  • Change your privacy settings. Make sure only your “friends” can view your posts, photos, and comments.
  • Make sure your friends do not “tag” you on their posts or comment on your page.
  • Limit your search visibility. Change your internet privacy settings so that a simple search won’t show an investigator news about you that may result in claim denial.
  • Google yourself. See what comes up and take proactive steps to limit what people can find out about you.

It is important to be smart. Every car accident victim must be careful when using social media. The best advice is to not use social media at all. It’s a good idea to keep details about the accident and your life to yourself. You don’t want to hurt your case telling a few random people online information about yourself.

Can lawyers look at social media during a case?

Even if your profile is set to private, a court can issue a subpoena, which is an order for you to turn over the social media data to be used as possible evidence. This means that if evidence exists, even if it is private, you may be ordered by the court to present it as part of your case.

Keep in mind that once you share content, it is public information. You could even be accused of destruction of evidence if you delete content after sharing it. The best thing that you can do is to avoid posting entirely. Ask friends and family members to avoid posting comments about your accident, and suspend or delete your profiles.

Can social media posts be used to prove fraud?

Yes, social media posts can be used as evidence to prove fraud. There have been many situations where an otherwise valid case became a fraudulent case because the insurance company caught the injured person on Facebook or TikTok doing something they told a doctor or lawyer they could not do. Often, these posts can be taken out of context. But sometimes a judge will not give you the benefit of the doubt. And under Michigan law, a judge can dismiss your entire case due to a post on social media.

Call A Michigan Car Accident Lawyer Specialist

Oversharing is a common problem on social media. It’s human nature to interact with other people, even over social media, and explain your thoughts, beliefs, and things happening in your life. The problem is insurance companies with deep pockets spend lots of money to comb through your social media, trying to find any nugget that will hurt your case.

Our highest satisfaction comes from settling a case and knowing our clients can rest more comfortably. The Michigan car accident lawyer at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm has the skills, resources, and knowledge you need to get you the most compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been involved in an accident in Michigan, contact us today for your FREE consultation or call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE.