A recent ruling in British Columbia underscores a rising trend in personal injury cases across Canada and including the GTA: the use of social media to gauge credibility.
The case for damages involved the victim of not one but two motor vehicle accidents. The plaintiff claimed to be virtually housebound with lingering depression, only able to socialize through the internet.
However, the defence – on behalf of her insurance company – was able to produce hours of video surveillance bolstered by her own Facebook posts of pictures showing her river tubing and performing in karaoke competitions, among other things.
Her claim was greatly reduced.
It’s not only in British Colombia, however. There have been many similar cases across the country, including right here in Southern Ontario.
Social Media and Your Claim
Certainly, you are entitled to enjoy yourself and you shouldn’t have to remain completely housebound to be considered for disability or personal injury benefits. No one should be taking you to task for healthy socializing within the bounds of your condition.
- But – even a few pictures of you engaging in certain types of activities can be enough to create doubt.
- Certainly, a pattern of active, “normal” behaviour such as was found in the BC case can undermine any claims for damages due to disability.
- The best advice? If you are involved in a legal proceeding, just say no to social media until the matter is done.
- If you really have to go online, avoid mentioning your personal life, comings and goings, whereabouts and other details. Stick to general observations and small talk and keep the personal stuff for private communications.
- Talk to us first!
As your personal injury legal specialists, we can advise you on the impact of social media use and many other issues on your case. Don’t take a chance – let us help to make sure your needs are met without clouding the issue with social media or other distractions.
Call us (905) 949-9433 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury and motor vehicle accident lawyer. We look forward to hearing from you.