What’s the harm in posting on your social media pages? It’s your page, after all, and you can make your posts more secure with privacy settings. Well, there is something to worry about besides employers snooping through your profiles.
An increasing number of lawyers, investigators, and insurance companies are now using social media profiles to gather evidence in criminal and civil cases across the country. While it might seem unbelievable, these are the ways your social media can hurt you in a car accident case.
Using Your Posts Against You
Let’s say you were involved in a hit and run, just like 600,000-700,000 other Americans are each year. That was the case Jacob Cox-Brown, a teen in Oregon. He struck two cars while driving home drunk on New Year’s Day and fled the scene.
Later, if you can believe it, he decided to post a Facebook status about the incident. Local law enforcement was able to piece together the incident using his status, the damage to his car, and the damage to the others. Cox-Brown was arrested.
Your posts don’t have to be as blatant as that, but it serves as a simple example. Any post can be used as evidence, even without an omission. Pictures of you having drinks before an accident, for instance, could be used against you in court.
Twisting Your Posts
Comments, photos, and even status updates can be used by prosecutors in the modern courtroom. Attorneys are looking for anything that contradicts the opposing party’s words. That means that your activity can be twisted to fit the defense or prosecution’s narrative.
A handful of photos featuring you drinking could be used to say you drink a lot and often. Photos taken from inside your vehicle could work to prove you’re an unsafe driver. The examples are near endless, but they’re clear evidence that your “private” social media use is now as public as ever.
Injuries and Severity
Part of the aftermath of a car accident is obtaining compensation for your injuries. Lawyers have recently used photos of a happy plaintiff to show that their injuries are less severe than initially claimed in cases of negligence.
That means any images or positive, happy posts you share while injured could be used against you as well. It’s twisting your social media use out of context, there’s no doubt about that, but it might be enough to make a judge question how much pain you’re actually in.
Fighting Social Media Evidence
It takes a skilled lawyer to help you fight against evidence brought about by your social media pages, especially when the evidence is twisted out of context. You’ll also need to rely on legal representation that’s familiar with the area’s judge.
If you were involved in a wreck in Sacramento, for instance, then you would need a Sacrament car accident lawyer to fight in your defense. While not every judge takes social media evidence seriously, you’ll stand a better chance with a lawyer who is used to working with the judge if yours does.