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Videotaping and Sharing Your Accident on Social Media

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.

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Why You Should Avoid Sharing Accident Videos on Social Media?

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:

  • Questions about your injuries. Your video might show you walking around talking and recording in the minutes following the crash. Now you claim to be seriously injured. Of course, some injuries are slow to develop, like head injuries and back problems. But the video makes it look like you weren’t really injured at all. And if you go to trial, that video will be hard to erase in a juror’s mind.
  • Misstatements made on video. As you record, you might say something you don’t really mean. For example, you could say on video, “I was looking at my phone and didn’t even see this car!” The other side could introduce these statements to argue you are at least partially at fault for the crash. If successful, the defendant could reduce the amount of compensation they pay—or possibly avoid paying anything at all. You might be badly shaken after the wreck and say things you don’t mean. It’s best not to create a video.
  • Wrong impression. You might be swearing up a storm or even cursing at the other driver on the video. That makes you look terrible and possibly at fault. It’s understandable because accidents are scary events. But you create the wrong impression in the minds of other people.
  • Video distortions. Video can sometimes fail to capture the reality of-the situation. For example, the video might show it darker than it was or that the lights are brighter than they were. You have to take video evidence with a grain of salt.

Your attorney can review the video and decide whether to use it at all. There is no need to publish it online.

Should You Videotape the Aftermath of a Crash?

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.

Dashcam Videos

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.

What to Do if You’ve Already Shared 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.

Sharing Video with the Police

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.

Contact Ladah Law Firm Today

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.