If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, and are proceeding with an ICBC claim, it is very important to watch what photos and information you post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, etc …
ICBC has a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) who take the time to look through a claimant’s social media profiles for any evidence in the form of photos, status updates, and/or information that they believe they can use to devalue your claim in some way. As such, it is important to not post photos or information about yourself that ICBC may misinterpret or take out of context. Many people believe that if they have a private profile, then they will be fine, however the SIU can also look at profiles of your friends and/or family in order to find information about you. If ICBC cannot obtain any information about you because you have a private profile and have taken great measures to ensure this, then once litigation has been started, ICBC’S lawyer may make an application to compel you as the Plaintiff to produce the entirety of any given social media profile. The Court will sometimes allow this, either in whole, or in part.
If the Court believes that evidence given at trial by the Plaintiff is contradictory to photos and/or information posted on, for example, Facebook, then this will severely undermine the Plaintiff’s credibility, which will likely affect the amount of damages awarded to the Plaintiff. For example, a Plaintiff’s evidence at trial may be that he or she leads a very sheltered life due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, however social media profiles may show an entirely different picture of the Plaintiff traveling and engaging in an active social life. Or, a Plaintiff may testify that he or she could no longer participate in sporting activities as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, yet pictures on social media profiles may indicate otherwise.
You can certainly continue to enjoy your social media activity, just be careful to ensure not to post any photos, status updates, and/or information that may be taken out of context by ICBC, and used against you in an effort to devalue your claim.