So you’ve had a car accident, and survived it fairly well, pretty intact. Now what? Well, you could start texting everyone you know to explain the close call you’ve just had, making sure to include a photo of yourself and the driver of the other vehicle becoming pals. And of course if you tweet you should also get photos, and maybe a video, out on Snapchat, Instagram, Vimeo, Facebook — and so many other places. You want the whole wide world to know about your narrow scrape, your dance with death, and what better place to do so than as a post on Reddit? Isn’t social media wonderful? Soon all your friends and family will be texting and messaging you to let you know how glad they are you are still up and running. That makes a person feel mighty good, doesn’t it?
But guess what? Any car accident attorney near me in the country is going to tell you NOT to do any of the above. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
Here’s one of the many problems with spreading the good word about your car accident on social media: attorneys and insurance companies are going to go over every bit of information you’ve posted with a fine tooth comb to look for any inconsistencies to help them deny your insurance claim. It can be something as inconsequential as misspelling the name of a street or saying you drive a 2016 Ford instead of a 2015 Ford. Anything and everything is grist for their denial mill. And judges are very prone to go along with them on this. They don’t like to see civil law matters like traffic accidents blazoned all over social media — they take a dim view of how it can complicate a simple insurance claim, and they are apt to take it out on you, the party that needs to collect that insurance payment pronto to get into a rental vehicle or pay medical bills.
You need to also realize that if you start posting on Facebook right after the accident, you’re probably going to write things that you really don’t mean in the heat of the moment. That becomes actionable, if you start a rant against the other driver or the police who showed up to untangle things. Even if you delete any unfortunate posts or tweets, there are ways and means of pulling it all back up, and you just might find yourself in court eating your words and paying very dearly for them.
And finally, if you choose to post about your car accident on social media you’d better be prepared for a blizzard of offers from insurance companies, lawyers, mechanics, sympathetic crackpots, and a host of other kibbitzers who want to put their 2 cents in about what happened to you and how they can help you benefit from it. You think robocalls are bad right now? Wait until you post something about a car accident you’re in!
The best advice from the best lawyers is simple and direct, when you’ve been involved in a car accident: Silence Is Golden. Say nothing to anyone until you’ve had the chance to consult with a professional attorney who is experienced in these matters. Then follow his or her advice, to the letter, for the best results and consequent peace of mind.
If you can’t stay off social media, then post something about the weather.