Social media has become a prevalent part of most people’s lives. According to Statistics Canada, 76 per cent of Ontarians use social media, more than any other province in Canada.
Because of this, it is not surprising that what you share and post on social media could have an effect on your personal injury claim. Evidence is key for any personal injury lawsuit, and the insurance company or defence lawyers involved in your case will try to gather as much evidence as possible to attempt to reduce the value of your claim or deny it all together.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies and defence lawyers to use social media posts in an attempt to show that a photo or post you shared contradicts your claim that you are suffering from severe injuries or emotional trauma after an accident.
For example, a B.C. Supreme Court judge denied a woman hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation in 2015 thanks to evidence from her Facebook that made the judge question her credibility.
Pictures showed the woman at parties, drinking and singing karaoke with friends, evidence the judge concluded was not consistent with her claim of severe emotional trauma after two car accidents left her depressed and a “homebody.”
Although it is possible for the defence to request that social media posts be submitted as evidence during a case, this does not give them free reign of your social media accounts to go looking for anything that could contradict your claim. They must be able to show there is evidence that is relevant to the case for it to be admissible. It is then up to the judge to determine how much value and weight those images should carry.
Using social media as evidence is controversial, however, as photos and posts on social media only show one snapshot of the person’s life that they want you to see. People often tend to post only positive pictures of themselves on social media. This concept has led many judges to be cautious of or reject Facebook posts as evidence during a case.
Be Mindful of What You Post on Social Media
If your Facebook account is set to public, anyone with an account on the social media platform can see your posts and photos, making it easy for insurance companies and lawyers to review your account. However, even if your account is set to private, access to that information can be requested.
Because of this, injury victims should be aware of what they are posting and how it can affect their claim. Some examples of the types of information that could be used against you during an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit include:
- Information about your treatment
- Information about your case, including conversations you have with your lawyer or other involved parties
- Photos of you engaging in physical activities if you suffered a physical injury
- Photos or you socializing if you are suffering from emotional trauma
Consult a Trusted Lawyer
As with anything relating to an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, it is best to consult with your lawyer about your social media presence and other details about your case. Every case is unique, and you need a lawyer who is familiar with your case to advise you of the best options for you.
Our trusted lawyers have decades of experience representing injury victims throughout Windsor and the surrounding area and can advise you or your legal options after an accident or injury. We will also walk you through every step of the process, helping make sure you do not do anything that could negatively affect your case.
Contact Greg Monforton & Partners today to learn more. We offer free consultations and do not charge legal fees unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.