Most of us grew up in a time where, for the most part, a fender-bender or a side scrape was a private occurrence between two people and the only time you would hear about an accident that didn’t involve someone you knew personally would be if it were reported by the news. But these days, it no longer matters if an accident was large enough for the media to care about – before the police can even show up, the details may be posted on Facebook, pictures up on Instagram, tweeted about, and possibly even live-streamed. Whether you’ve got a single truck or a fleet, today you need to be prepared not just for the legal ramifications but to manage social media.
Avoid social media missteps
It can’t be stated enough that this isn’t 1950, and a company that doesn’t have social media awareness baked into its DNA will find itself quickly falling behind. Drivers need to be aware from the moment an incident occurs that they might be filmed. Your driver may not be at fault, but if a judge or jury sees a video of him getting out of the truck and raging, that might well be more influential than dry charts about angles of approach.
Use social media to develop your own case
But you can use the same tools to protect yourself! The social media accounts of people involved in the accident or bystanders might contain pictures, statements, or even video that can impact your case. This is information which twenty years ago you would not have had access to; today, those that are most able to find and take advantage of this information are giving themselves a huge advantage. The ABA recognized this and prepared a primer on social media admissibility in court.
Be aware that it doesn’t end in court
For good and for bad, the average person on the street has a megaphone today. As we’ve seen in recent cases involving a major airline, the consequences to your reputation from an incident going viral can dwarf any actual liability involved. Even if the fault doesn’t lie with you, that viral video of a raging driver could cost you enormously. Awareness of these costs starts before the accident even happens.
Call a Houston accident attorney to discuss your case
Modern technology can be baffling to many, and not all lawyers have the skills to get ahead of the social media game. The law office of Stewart J. Guss can help you to not only win your truck accident case but to manage social media so that you stay one step ahead. Call 800-898-4877 to schedule a free case evaluation, or email us through our contact form. CLICK HERE to see Stewart interviewed as an authority on trucking accident cases by Mike Papantonio on his national news program, “America’s Lawyer.”