Just as you’re daydreaming about driving a cute yellow Jeep Wrangler like the one in your rearview mirror, CRASH! You were rearended coming to a stop at the red light.
Good news: You took pictures of the scene with your cell phone while waiting for the police to come.
Bad news: With so many ways to instantly share, one wrong “upload” button can seriously impact the outcome of your personal injury claim.
Good news: Taylor King Law can help. Read through our six practical “Do’s and Don’ts” below to help you make smart decisions with your smartphone after a car wreck.
DO: Take pictures and videos at the scene of the accident. If you have a smartphone, enable your “location services” feature so that each photo will include proof of the time and location it was taken. Take pictures from multiple angles, including wide shots of the entire scene, street signs or traffic signals, and close-up shots of the damage.
DON’T: Turn a video of the wreck damage into your own personal documentary. If a film clip is full of your own commentary, it may not be useful to your attorney. Resist narrating as you capture the accident scene.DO: Use your phone to take down names and contact information from witnesses at the scene. After a car wreck, you often experience a jolt of shock and adrenaline that leaves your hands shaking. Typing, rather than attempting to write, witness information ensures that you’ll be able to read it later.
DON’T: Try to force anyone to speak on camera at the accident scene. Even if you are certain that the other driver was at fault, he or she may not be willing to admit that – and will likely be less cooperative if you begin arguing or holding a camera in their face. Both drivers are required by law to give police their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information. The police officer may list an at-fault driver in the report, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help with your case from there.
DO: Clean up any social media accounts you may have. It’s important to always be honest, especially when you’re involved in a legal case. But that doesn’t mean you have to reveal your entire life on the internet. Posts that are sexually explicit, use vulgar language, or mention illegal activities may negatively impact your case. It’s important to present yourself in the best possible light through your social media presence. Even if your profile is set to private, nothing is quite as private as you think. Attorneys and insurance adjusters are becoming increasingly social media savvy.
DON’T: Post on social media about your accident. Ask that your friends and family refrain, as well. In a world where we all like to use Facebook and Instagram to keep our friends and family up-to-date on major life events, it might seem unthinkable that you wouldn’t let everyone know about the wreck you were involved in (especially if you were the victim). But this can seriously impact your personal injury case. Plaintiffs have lost personal injury cases after claiming that the car accident left them with serious injuries yet posting photos of themselves gardening, biking, or swimming in the months following the wreck.
Still unsure about what’s ok to post online after an accident? An experienced personal injury attorney can help answer your questions and guide you to successfully settling your case. Taylor King Law offers free case evaluations, every day, for everyone. Call 1-800-227-9732 to get started.