If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, your social media accounts may cost you significantly financially. Social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook suffer from the “highlight reel” phenomenon. In other words, people tend to post highlights from their life when things are going well and when they’re feeling well. You don’t often see people posting pictures of themselves sick in bed or injured and laid up. Everybody wants to see positive upbeat pictures in social media not negative messages or pictures of people having a hard time.

Insurance companies can and will hire private investigators to research fully all your social media posts if you are a personal injury victim advancing a personal injury claim. Indeed, insurance companies will hire private investigators to pretend to be someone you know and gather information about you online interacting with you on your social media account.  Therefore, in our opinion it is best to close your social media accounts or minimize your social media involvement if you are a personal injury victim advancing a claim. If you must engage in social media be very careful about what you post online. You might be feeling good one day from your injuries and you are out and about in Edmonton doing something fun for a change and you end up posting a picture of doing something your injuries do not allow on 6 of the other 7 days. However, that one picture, on that one day, will be used against you to allege that you in fact we’re healthy.

The law is evolving as to what exactly the courts will allow the defendant insurance company to use in court, but the trend is towards disclosure so be aware that your posts to your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds could end up in a court of law hurting your personal injury claim. Even if it doesn’t end up in a court of law it could certainly greatly hinder the negotiation your lawyer undertakes to obtain a settlement for you.

Brent L. Handel, Q.C.