For better or worse, social media has completely changed how we live our lives. It’s a near-constant presence—even those who do their best to stay off of social media hear about current trends or scandals from friends and family. It should come as no surprise, then, that social media has also changed car accidents and the personal injury claims that follow.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have a valid personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Let’s talk more about your options now. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 475-275-8649 to set up a consultation now.
Social Media and Its Role in Collisions
Social media plays an integral part in our day-to-day lives. It goes beyond fun pictures and silly memes, going so far as to increase the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. In fact, social media has contributed to a frightening rise in car accidents across the country. One of the main reasons is distracted driving.
Too many drivers are tempted to turn to their smartphones while driving, thinking that it won’t hurt to check out “just one” post, photo, or message. Checking notifications, browsing news feeds, and updating your own page take attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
Social media notifications and updates can be hard to resist, thanks to the hit of dopamine your brain gets every single time you scroll or refresh. This leaves drivers with their eyes and minds off of the road at critical moments. Drivers engrossed in social media may miss pedestrians, a change in traffic signal, or a car that’s merged into the lane ahead of them.
Social Media Evidence
Social media also provides valuable evidence for social media claims. When an accident happens, many people inevitably turn to social media to tell their stories. Those involved in a crash—whether the liable party or the victim—often post photos, captions, and video footage that can be invaluable to personal injury lawyers.
Consider a driver who was active on social media immediately before the accident. Who hasn’t seen a Facebook Live or TikTok Live being run by someone who is obviously driving? The fact that the person was updating their social media or even broadcasting live on social media prior to the crash can prove the driver’s negligence. Witnesses and bystanders may also post videos and photos to social media that both sides of a case can use.
Having said this, it’s important that accident victims be careful about social media usage after a collision. If you’re on the insurance company’s radar, they will undoubtedly be scouring your page for anything they can use against you. As tempting as it may be to update your loved ones, keep your accident off of social media until your claim is behind you.
Legal Issues Related to Social Media
Although social media has been around for years, its use in the courtroom is still evolving. The usage of social media logs and posts brings up questions of privacy. The information posted publicly, including posts by those with open accounts, is generally safe to use as evidence. But when posts are private or restricted, you may have to jump additional hurdles to gain access to them.
The validity of social media posts can also be called into question during a personal injury claim. It is incredibly easy nowadays to alter or misrepresent social media posts, and anyone planning on using this type of evidence must go one step further and ensure that everything they have is valid.
The timing of social media posts is another issue for court cases. Social media changes rapidly, and the posts accessible to you now may be gone in an hour or day from now. While this data is generally preserved in some form by the social media company, accessing it is much harder after it’s been deleted.
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