In a dramatic situation, it’s normal to want to take a picture and come up with a caption for social media before taking a minute to process what just happened. How many times have you passed a car accident and seen witnesses with their smartphones in the air, capturing the moment to get some buzz on social media? It isn’t unusual at all for idle bystanders to do this. Everyone wants to be the first to report bad news.
What do you do with your smartphone if you’re one of the parties involved in the accident, rather than a curious bystander? It’s hard to accept, but one of the best things you can do for yourself after calling for help is to stay off Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It can be tempting, especially if you’re scared, shocked, or angry, to let off some steam in a social media post filled with emojis and exclamation points.
You may want to let the world know the extent of your injury in real-time. It seems like a harmless way to distract yourself while waiting for first responders to arrive. Unfortunately for you, your online outburst might cause more trouble with insurance companies than you expect.
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Adrenaline affects your ability to communicate in a stressful situation. You may or may not be at fault in an accident, but a few hastily-typed comments can be made to seem like an admission of fault by insurance companies. These companies do not want to pay for the aftermath of an accident if there’s a chance their client may not have been at fault.
That filtered, zoomed-in photo or the crying emoji in your post all contribute to a picture you’re painting for the insurance companies of what happened–a picture that may unintentionally portray you as the responsible party.
It’s best to call for any necessary emergency assistance and then leave your phone in your pocket. If you open your mouth online without the proper guidance, you could find yourself paying for more than you expected. Let professional first responders do their jobs and don’t send any impulsive messages on social media until you’ve spoken with a trusted personal injury attorney. An experienced Arizona auto accident attorney will be able to explain how to properly use social media as you go through your injury case.