Social Media and Personal Injury Claims - Slater Vecchio
August.3.2015

Social Media and Personal Injury Claims

social media and personal injury cases

Are you involved in a personal injury claim? Are you active on Social Media platforms?

The Case

A recent BC Supreme Court decision, (Tambosso v. Holmes, 2015 BCSC 359), provides a reminder of how courts may interpret social media posts that appear to contradict an injury claim.

The Plaintiff, Sarah Tambosso, testified that her life completely changed after being involved in two car accidents. She was depressed, a homebody and her only friends were on the Internet.

Plaintiff’s claim was contradicted by her social media posts

But the plaintiff’s Facebook posts showed an active woman, participating in a variety of physical activities and events.

The Judge rejects her claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after reading 194 pages of her Facebook profile. He found her evidence unreliable and wrote:

I conclude that based on this Facebook evidence, in particular the photos of the continued attendance at social events and posts from friends, that the plaintiff had a very active social life following the 2008 and 2010 accidents. The social life portrayed by her Facebook profile is consistent with the social life of someone who went through three engagements, the birth of a child, and a marriage. It is completely inconsistent with the evidence the plaintiff gave at trial and to the experts that said she was a “homebody” whose “life sucked” and “only had friends on the Internet”.

Takeaways

  1. People involved in personal injury lawsuits need to be aware that what they post online may end up as evidence in court.
  1. The way to protect yourself as a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is to be honest about your physical and psychological limitations.
  1. Still worried about social media compromising your case? The simplest way to make sure social media doesn’t come back to haunt you is to unplug from social media sites or ensure that any postings accurately reflect your state of physical and emotional health.

For more information

Evidence Found on Social Media Increasingly Deciding Factor in Personal Injury Cases, National Post With Activities for All To See, Courts Could Use Social Media Exploits as Evidence, Digital Trends 

Michael Slater QC

Michael Slater, QC

Michael Slater QC is the founding partner of Slater Vecchio. The majority of his practice is confined to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury cases.