With the rise of social media, people are sharing more details about their private lives than ever before. In fact, websites like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram have eroded the distinction between public and private. Today, few people think twice before sharing private details of their lives.
But when it comes to an accident, probably the last thing you should do is share video of the wreck on your social media platforms. Video can sometimes be misleading, and it might create the wrong impression. Although you should absolutely share any video you have with your Car Accident Attorney, try not to broadcast it online.
Some people live on Facebook or Instagram, sharing photographs and random thoughts on their children, birthdays, politics, dieting struggles—and just about anything
else. They might not think twice about sharing information about the car accident they were just in.
This type of sharing is a mistake. In fact, sharing anything about a car accident on social media can create problems. And these problems are compounded if you share video:
Your attorney can review the video and decide whether to use it at all. There is no need to publish it online.
This is an important question. Forget asking about sharing your video on social media. Should you even record a video in the first place?
Although many attorneys will tell you to document a crash, you might want to skip creating a video. In particular, Nevada has an eavesdropping statute which makes it a Class D felony to record a private conversation without the consent of at least one participant. If you are talking to someone, then you can consent to be recorded and you’re good to go.
But what if two people are having a conversation off to the side which does not include you? If you record and pick up their conversation, you could be breaking the state’s eavesdropping law.
Of course, some conversations lose their private character, especially if two people are talking on the sidewalk or in the street. If two people are talking very loudly, then it’s also a public conversation. But there are gray areas. Imagine if, after an accident, two people get into the car to talk privately as you walk around recording the scene. If you get close to their car and catch their conversation, you might be eavesdropping.
If you break this law, you could be criminally prosecuted for a felony and serve time in prison. That might be unlikely, and we don’t think accidentally recording someone’s conversation will land you in jail. But why risk it?
Our recommendation is to take photographs of the accident scene instead. That’s probably the best way to record the aftermath of a collision. Zoom in on any debris field, skid marks, and the dents/dings on the vehicles. Try to get at least one picture of the cars involved in the crash before you move them to the side of the road. Also get pictures of all license plates for ease.
We recommend not taking a picture of someone unless you have their consent, also. That is too invasive.
Many drivers install dashcams, which basically run continuously and record what is happening in front of the car. These videos are often helpful because they can catch the moment of impact and the actions leading up to it. If a driver pulled out in front of you, for example, then you
will have evidence that you weren’t tailgating. The other driver is to blame for getting hit. Insurers love dashcams, and we love them, too. They often provide definitive proof of what happened.
If you have dashcam footage, avoid uploading it onto social media. Some people are tempted to put it on YouTube, where you can browse compilations of accidents recorded by dashcams. But you should definitely let your attorney see the video.
Maybe you’re reading this only after having posted a video of the accident on yo
ur Facebook page. What should you do?
First, you should immediately make your profile private if you haven’t already done so. This will keep anyone from instantly accessing the video and combing through it to find information to use against you. Also don’t add any new friends until your attorney gives you permission. We have seen insurance adjusters try to friend people on social media to gain access to their profiles.
At the same time, you also shouldn’t delete or destroy the video. The fact is that could qualify as destruction of evidence, which is also a crime. Your video is probably relevant to the lawsuit, so you must preserve it.
Also remember to share with your Las Vegas car accident lawyer that you made a video. Leave it up to him or her to decide whether it is helpful for your case. But the last thing you should do is delete it.
As part of their investigation, police might want to see the video. This is particularly true if you have dashcam footage which clearly identifies fault. You aren’t obligated to share anything with the police if you don’t want to. Instead, you can wait for them to get a search warrant, which they can request from a judge. As mentioned above, don’t delete the footage.
Documenting an accident is a critical piece of any car accident claim. No judge, juror, or insurance adjusters was there with you to know what happened. You can only rely on the documentary evidence to recreate what happened.
But your choice of attorney is equally important. The team at Ladah Law has helped countless men and women following Las Vegas car accidents. We know the city and how insurance adjusters deny or delay claims. Let us get to work for you.
To schedule a consultation, please call (702) 252-0055 or send us an online message.