Filming and Posting Your Accident on TikTok – The Social Media Trap
The rise of TikTok and other social media sites have been a double-edged sword. While people can enjoy a new way of sharing their lives, anything posted online has the potential to be used against you.
Following a job interview, employers are known for checking applicants’ social media pages. You may be denied the position if they find something on your TikTok that is too racy. People can lose their current jobs due to social media posts from their youth.
In the world of personal injury, you may be putting your car accident claim on the line if you post on TikTok. It is crucial that you know how social media can affect your car accident claim.
How Can Posting on TikTok Be Used to Hurt My Las Vegas Car Accident Claim?
Any kind of social media can be detrimental to your claim. In the recent personal injury claim, Largent v. Reed, a claimant’s Facebook photos were used to discredit the severity of her physical and mental pain. Photos showed her happily participating in a few activities.
The photos do not show if the plaintiff took a pain pill before the activities or was in pain during them. However, the defense successfully argued that her injuries were not as serious as previously reported. The court ordered the plaintiff to give her personal Facebook login information to the court to be examined.
With TikTok’s growing popularity, the narrative of another personal injury story reversed the initial finding of fault. While the case is still being investigated, it is clear social media can substantially impact an ongoing claim.
TikTok users have grown exponentially in the last few years. According to the most recent statistics:
- TikTok usage between 2019 and 2020 grew by 123%
- By January 2021, TikTok became the 2nd most downloaded app
As TikTok gains in popularity, it may be tempting to post even the most traumatizing events of your life. However, anything you say or do can be used against you. TikTok and other social media sites can damage your car accident claim in many ways, including:
- Car accident liability is highly contested during the claims process. The insurance company and their attorneys will be examining all the videos, photos, and comments you post, including any communication between yourself and friends and family.
Anything has the potential to be used against you. For example, suppose you post a TikTok video of your accident and caption it, “Never saw it coming.” Opposing counsel could argue that you were not paying attention and contributed to the cause of your accident, greatly diminishing it, or your claim could be denied entirely.
- Angry posts about the accident or how the insurance company handles your claim may make you seem vindictive. Even if your TikTok simply vented frustrations, the insurance company may argue your negotiations lack integrity.
- Videos, comments, and even being tagged in a photo on Facebook can make it seem like your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Even posting too much could be misinterpreted.
For instance, say you post a TikTok or series of photos to show your recovery progress. Opposing counsel could argue that your injuries are not as bad as you reported and reduce your settlement.
- Any apology, whether verbal or online, can be interpreted as an admission of fault or partial responsibility in the crash. Since Nevada follows shared fault, otherwise known as modified comparative negligence, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the car accident, you cannot recover any damages. The insurance adjuster’s job is to minimize any payouts. If they can find grounds to argue you bear some or all of the responsibility, your settlement may be denied or seriously reduced.
- If you feel something you have posted or commented on could be damaging, do not delete it. Deleting posts is considered destruction of evidence. Even if all your settings are private, anything you post online can be considered evidence. Under Nevada state law, you must preserve all evidence for an ongoing car accident claim.
After a crash, call the car accident attorneys of Gina Corena & Associates. You have a right to representation and the legal advice that can prevent you from jeopardizing your case.
Can I Still Use TikTok if I Have a Nevada Car Accident Claim in Progress?
Using TikTok and other social media apps during your case leaves you vulnerable to insurance company adjusters and attorneys.
It would be in your best interests to avoid posting anything until your claim is resolved. Ideally, consider deactivating your accounts for the duration of your case. TikTok and other social media sites allow insurance adjusters and their lawyers to take advantage of your exposure and may twist seemingly innocent posts into something that is damaging to your case.
If you must use TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or the others, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do not accept any new friends or followers while your claim is in progress
- Make sure all your accounts are on the privacy setting
- Understand that limiting public access to your accounts does not protect your posts from being used against you
- Never post updates about your car accident claim, injuries, or property damage
- Do not respond to friends and family who ask about your car crash or case
- While it is encouraged to take photos of the accident, never post them online
- Ask friends and family not to comment or post anything about your accident, injuries, recovery, or claim
If you have been hurt in a negligent car accident, speak with a knowledgeable attorney from Gina Corena & Associates. We can help you navigate the many harmful effects of social media.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada Today
The exceptional legal team of Gina Corena & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have suffered life-changing injuries. We have provided aggressive representation and skilled litigation to our clients for years, recovering millions in settlements and verdicts. We will work tirelessly to see that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law. Call our car personal injury lawyers today to discuss the details of your case. You can schedule a free evaluation of your claim by calling (702) 680-1111.