There’s no arguing that social media use is ingrained in the daily lives of millions of Canadians. Its increasing prevalence calls into question how social media can be used to help or hurt legal claims. It’s important to consider the impacts that our social media use can have on a personal injury case and ensure the proper precautions are taken to reduce the risk of any negative implications down the road.
Can Social Media Be Used as Evidence?
The popularity of social media has led to a rise in its use in legal proceedings. Evidence gathered from social media is seen the same way as any other evidence in a court of law. This means that anything you post or share on your social channels could be used as a source of incriminating evidence against you if the court decides it is relevant to the issues in your case. Whether it’s through your photos, videos, posts, or other account activity, what you do online has the potential to negatively impact how the courts see your case.
In personal injury cases, specifically, social media creates the potential for the validity of claims to be called into question. If photos or videos on your account show you to be engaging in behaviour that is contradictory to what you have claimed, you could be in trouble. For example, if you’re trying to claim compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life, but your social media account shows you socializing and enjoying yourself, your case could be in jeopardy. If you claim to be in constant pain that prevents you from working, but post video of your time on a rollercoaster, the court may not react kindly to the images.
Evidence that is gathered on social media could paint you in a negative light, which could also have negative impacts on the outcome of the case. Inappropriate comments, posts, or other activity could portray you in an unsympathetic light, once again putting your case in jeopardy.
How to Protect Yourself
It goes without saying that what you post on social media should be treated with the utmost care and awareness. It’s easy to think that what you post online would never be used against you, but your social media account could be put on full display if you ever find yourself involved in legal proceedings. If you’re involved in a personal injury case, ask your lawyer about the best practices to take to ensure your case isn’t derailed by social media. The solution may be as simple as restricting your settings and ensuring that only true friends have access to your feeds.
The lawyers at Beckett know the importance of ensuring that your case is set up for success. Our team has helped countless clients receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation and get started on your journey towards justice.
Published on June 7, 2021