Car accidents happen. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) notes that there is a 90% chance that motorists in our state will be involved in a motor vehicle collision at some point in the course of their lifetime. Following a crash, it is imperative that you are able to secure the maximum available financial compensation—including for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a crash is posting about the details on social media. In this article, our Birmingham auto accident lawyer explains why it is so important to avoid posting about your collision on social media in Alabama.
Background: Insurance Companies are Not on Your Side
As a starting point, it is useful to understand how the automobile accident claims process actually works in Alabama. For the most part, car crash injury claims are processed, handled, and defended by large insurance companies. You may have a claim for financial compensation through your insurance company or through another party’s insurance company. Regardless, you cannot rely on an insurance company to protect your legal rights and your financial interests after a car accident. Insurance companies are looking for ways to protect their own bottom line. That means trying to reduce your settlement offer and/or trying to deny your claim.
What You Post on Social Media Could Be Admissible Evidence in a Car Accident Claim
A majority of adults in Alabama have at least one social media account that they use on a regular basis. It could be Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, or any number of other social media platforms. A car crash is a major event—especially if you were hurt in the accident. With that in mind, it is totally natural to want to share your experience on social media. That being said, posting on social media after a car crash could be a very big mistake. You should be cautious about what you post.
Insurance companies often monitor the social media accounts of those involved in accidents. They look for photos, comments, or even location check-ins that could suggest you’re not as injured as you claim. As an example, a seemingly innocuous picture of you smiling on a hike might actually be used to argue against the severity of your injury. Anything you post could be considered admissible evidence in a car accident claim, meaning it can be used in court.
Note: It does not matter if you have strong privacy settings in place. Anything that is posted on a public social media account could still be used as evidence in a car accident injury claim if it finds its way into the hands of the insurance company. Do not assume that you can post freely about your car accident simply because your social media is privacy-protected.
Three Tips for Social Media After a Serious Auto Accident in Alabama
How should you handle your social media accounts after a serious motor vehicle collision in Alabama? You do not need to deactivate all of your profiles. Still, it is crucial that you take special care so as to not inadvertently undermine your personal injury claim. Here are some useful tips for the best practices for social media after a car crash:
- Ensure You Have Strong Privacy Settings in Place: First and foremost, immediately review and tighten your social media privacy settings. You generally do not want to have your full social media available to the public if you are not a public figure. This means setting your profiles to private so only friends or followers you trust can see your posts. However, remember that “private” does not mean invisible. Friends might share your content, or insurance investigators might still access it through mutual connections. Even with strict settings, you still need to assume anything you post could become public. It could end up in the hands of an insurance adjuster. If it does, it could potentially be admissible evidence.
- Avoid Post About Your Crash and Your Injuries: Of course, it might be tempting to share details about your accident or recovery process. Indeed, it is a natural impulse to share information with your close family and friends about what happened to you and about your physical and mental recovery. Still, social media is generally not the best option for doing this. Comments or photos related to the crash, your injuries, or your recovery can easily be misconstrued. For instance, saying something like “Feeling better today!” could be used to argue that your injuries are less severe than stated. Even if your intentions are innocent, insurance companies can twist your words to minimize your claim.
- Be Extremely Careful About Other Social Media Posts: As a final word of caution, you should also be careful about any social media posts that are not directly related to your accident or your injuries at all. Once again, what you post can easily be taken out of context and used by an insurance company to try to limit the value of your claim. For example, photos or check-ins at events, activities, or even on vacation could be used against you. They might argue that you’re not as injured or affected as you claim if you’re seen out and about, enjoying life. Also, avoid discussing appointments, interactions with your lawyer, or any legal proceedings. These topics are sensitive and could inadvertently harm your case
Set Up a Free Consultation WIth a Top-Tier Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, our Alabama auto accident attorney is an aggressive and experienced advocate for injured victims. Hurt in a crash? Avoid posting on social media. We will protect your rights. Get in touch with us via phone at 205-896-6410 or connect with our team online for your no-cost, no-commitment case review. With a law office in Birmingham, we handle car accident injury claims across the region, including in Hoover, Moody, Trussville, Gardendale, and Fultondale.