Arizona Car Accidents & Social Media
Is It Okay To Post My Accident On Social Media?
Hurt in an accident in AZ? If so, stay off of social media!
Many people love posting about their lives on social media, especially if they have a particular issue to complain about or discuss. So, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might justifiably want to vent about it on social media. However, our Arizona Injury Attorneys find that in general for accident victims, it’s better to stay off social media in the immediate aftermath. Whereas, your focus should be on your own recovery, and possibly your Arizona personal injury claim. Therefore, before talking to the other driver’s insurance company, you should seek the guidance of an experienced Arizona injury lawyer.
Why Should I Stay Off Of Social Media After An Arizona Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company will be doing everything within their power to keep your compensation as close to zero dollars as possible. While it’s rare for your case to go to trial (only about 5% of personal injury claims do), your social media could be used as evidence against you. The opposing counsel may be able to use your social media posts to prove that you deserved reduced compensation for your injuries, or none at all.
Using your cell phone without hands-free technology in Arizona is against the law. Therefore, you shouldn’t post anything on social media that proves you were using your phone during the accident. Photos and videos taken while you were behind the wheel can show that you were driving distracted.
Your Followers Don’t Need To Know The Details About Your Accident
Posting pictures and details of your car accident is a great way to get attention and sympathy from your followers, but not a great way to start out a personal injury case. Of course, there are people in your life that will need to know about your accident and injury, but they can be informed in a more private manner. Keep in mind that your private messages to friends on social media could still be obtained by the opposing party during discovery.
Defense lawyers are clever and tricky, and will manipulate anything you post about an accident against you. Even statements like “I never saw this coming,” or “I couldn’t stop in time” could later be used against you in your personal injury claim. Your interactions with other commenters could even be used to reduce your claim’s value. Some statements, when taken out of context, can make it seem like the accident was partially your fault or your injuries aren’t really that bad.
Arizona is a comparative negligence state, which means that a plaintiff can be found to be at least partially responsible for creating an accident, and their award will be reduced accordingly. For example, let’s say a driver on the highway merged lanes without checking, crashed into you, and caused injuries worth $50,000. However, the other party shows evidence that you were texting and speeding at the time of the accident, and the court assigns you 20% fault for the accident. You would then only be eligible to collect $40,000 of your award.
Damages At Stake When You Post On Social Media After An Accident
There are a few types of damages that are collectable in most Arizona car accident injury claims. Knowing the damages you may collect gives you a better context to self-filter with your social media posting after an accident.
Damages That Are Retrievable In An Arizona Injury Accident
- Medical bills: If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, you’ll be at a doctor’s office or hospital accruing medical bills, not posting your latest antics on social media. There could be further inquiry into your claim if you have social media posts out and about when you were supposedly at doctors’ appointments.
- Future medical bills: If you have long-term or permanent injuries from your accident, you will need to include in your demand the medical bills you expect to incur due to your injuries in your lifetime. Posting pictures and videos of you partaking in physically demanding and reckless activities will make it questionable whether you actually need compensation for future medical bills.
- Missed time from work: The logic is similar here. If you lose income because you take off work after an accident, it should be to receive medical treatments, rest, and recover. This isn’t time to go on a family vacation or an outdoor expedition. But social media can be a great way to socialize and pass the time when you’re stuck at home with injuries. You can continue using it to communicate with friends and relatives, but just be mindful of what you post.
- Loss of earning potential: Sometimes, injuries from a car accident are so severe that they will prevent you from reaching your full potential in your career. If so, you might be compensated for an estimate of what that loss would be over the course of your career, or for training to enter a new career more suitable for your permanent injuries. Posts of you bungee jumping and lifting weights while you are supposed to be recovering can hurt your chances of collecting these damages.
- Don’t accept random friend requests after a car accident: This could be an insurance adjuster or someone from the other side trying to gather evidence. Make sure that during this time, you only accept follow requests from people you know personally.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering is often the highest damage in your personal injury claim. That is because it is usually calculated by summing up the damages listed above, then multiplying the total by a number that is usually between one and five. The multiplier typically increases if the injuries are particularly painful and traumatic. So, it will be difficult for your attorney to argue that a higher multiplier should be used in your claim if your social media profile portrays an active and happy lifestyle.
Should I Go Back & Delete My Posts?
Surprisingly, deleting your posts isn’t a great solution if you have been posting questionable things on social media after your accident. It most likely won’t even do you much good to change your settings to private if you have already posted about the accident. This is especially true if the opposing party has already asked for your social media posts as part of their discovery requests. If this occurs, the court could actually interpret it as tampering with evidence. The consequences for tampering with evidence during a case can be severe. If you’ve been active on social media after a car accident, you should contact an experienced Avondale personal injury attorney for advice on how to proceed next.
Contact Arizona’s Expert Personal Injury Team To Handle All Your Case’s Details
Social media isn’t the only area where you can screw up important details of your personal injury claim. After an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will be working diligently to reduce your claim to zero, if possible. A dedicated Arizona personal injury team will protect your interests and give you the advice and guidance to keep your award as high as possible. We also charge low budget rates so that you will save in comparison to our competitors- instead of charging 33% or more, we charge a guaranteed rate of 25%. Learn more about our 25% fee advantage To learn more, call 602-600-6001 to schedule your free consultation.
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