Taking pictures at the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a good idea—as a matter of fact, it’s listed on the ‘Do’ side of our list of “Dos and Don’ts at a Motor Vehicle Accident.”
But sometimes photos—especially on social media—may not help. One plaintiff in a recent lawsuit over injuries she says she suffered in a motor vehicle accident—injuries for which she is pursuing compensation– has failed to keep photos from her Instagram account from being admitted in court.
The defendants in the lawsuit wish to prove that the Instagram pictures and video posted after the March 21st, 2015 accident—pictures and video that show a young woman rock climbing and pursuing other outdoor activities—are of plaintiff Christina Smith.
The majority of the photos in question prompted acting Bronx Supreme Court Justice John Higgitt to refer to the Oxford English Dictionary and cite an entry regarding ‘selfie:’
“A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”
Smith is suing both the person who was driving her and the vehicle with whom that vehicle collided. Smith claims injuries to her spine and knew and her lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment of life. The Instagram photos were admitted in August 2018, with the argument that if it is indeed Smith in the photos, her injuries are not as severe as she has claimed.
The fact that Smith changed her Instagram from public to private at some point after the accident also factors into the defendants’ arguments.
After An Accident:
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are very important steps you need to take:
Get to a safe place immediately—to the side of the road, a median, anywhere out of the road
Stay at the scene and call the police.
You must notify the police in order to obtain a full report
Even if you believe you have no injuries, proceed with caution as some injuries and symptoms may not manifest themselves immediately
Never admit fault
Gather information from witnesses
Get contact and insurance information as well as statements if possible
Take photographs and/or videos—but don’t put them on social media!
Make sure to document any cuts, bruises or other injuries suffered, as well as physical evidence like skid marks, etc.
If injured—don’t delay. Seek medical attention quickly
Ensure that your injuries are documented by medical professionals
If you later feel pain, go to an emergency room without delay for a thorough examination
Don’t answer any questions at the accident scene, simply exchange information
Keep all the information relating to your accident somewhere safe—but don’t share it—especially on social media.
Dates, care received, bills, medicine or procedures prescribed, discussions with medical professionals
Don’t speak to any insurance company—even your own. And DO NOT sign anything
Contact an attorney—they will represent your interests
Have you or a loved one been injured in a motor vehicle accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured– or even killed—in a motor vehicle accident, Thomas & Pearl offer you a free case consultation, and upon taking your case will work on a contingency basis.
In an initial interview you’ll have the opportunity to ask all the questions you want, and learn more about your case. You’ll pay no money upfront—only if Thomas & Pearl wins your case and gets you the compensation you deserve.
You can receive compensation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Before you speak with an insurance company, the attorneys at Thomas and Pearl want to speak to you.
Thomas & Pearl can help get you the compensation needed to safeguard your future.
Thomas & Pearl attorneys have the skills and training, plus the financial resources necessary to take on the big insurance companies, and to negotiate settlements favorable for our clients. And Thomas & Pearl Attorneys will absolutely litigate to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Ask about our experience as attorneys helping victims of personal injury and automobile accidents.
Ask about the more than $150M (MILLION) dollars in recent and past jury verdicts and settlements we have gained for our clients.
We’ll evaluate your case situation with you, develop a strategy to win or successfully negotiate the highest amount of compensation for you.
Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing in court. And you pay nothing unless we get that successful resolution for you.