It very common for defence lawyers to use social media information and pictures to dispute personal injury lawsuits. In many instances the Courts have allowed that information to be used into its rulings.
When you are in an injury action almost everything you do is an issue because people are claiming that their physical and emotional health has been affected.
Take for example B.C. resident Sarah Tambosso – in 2015 a B.C. Supreme Court judge denied her claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, after claiming two car accidents caused severe emotional trauma. According to a report by The National Post, Tambosso’s case was destroyed thanks to evidence from her Facebook page – pictures showing her at parties, drinking with friends and performing karaoke. The judge said the Facebook posts were “completely inconsistent” with someone suffering from the collisions.
The problem is – we don’t always show a “real” image of ourselves on social media. It is just a brief moment of time. You are asked to smile for the camera but afterwards no one sees the pain you are in. No one sees that you went home early that night because of that pain. The camera doesn't catch the rest of the moments in time when you must lie down because of that pain.
Unfortunately this moment in time can take on a life of its own and be very misleading.
For example, someone suffering emotional trauma may not want their friends and family to know the degree in which they are suffering – so they choose to post content that makes them appear happy. Or someone may post an entire album of pictures showing them having fun at an event – but that could have been the only event they attended that year.
What you need to know:
Even if you have privacy settings on, you may not be protected. A judge can order a plaintiff’s Facebook profile be introduced into evidence even if all of the posts are set to private.
Also follow the ol’ “think before you post” mentality.
In the event that you are in an accident, you might want to avoid posting about the incident right away. For example, if you were in a car accident and posted an update like, “I was just in an accident – thank God no one was hurt,” but an injury presented itself later – that could be used against you in court.
The best advice, however, is do not post anything at all and do not let anyone post or tag you on social media, or just shut down all of your social media accounts until your case is over.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, please call JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP,for a free consultation.