Facebook Evidence Limited

A defense against Facebook evidence

We all are aware that photos and declarations on Facebook, can be used in a court case against you. An example, is a person stating that he/she is no longer able to do physical activity, and then posts a current Facebook picture, riding a bicycle or exercising in the gym. The insurance companies can and likely will, check to see if there is such evidence on your page, if you are involved in an injury benefit lawsuit.

If you posted an old picture and have made yourself look questionable, then one defense you can use, is to close open portions of your Facebook site, to heighten your privacy. A more extreme measure is to deactivate the account, which removes your postings.

If you do find yourself in a situation where a lawyer could asking about your Facebook site, then there are certain rules that have to be followed. The opposing lawyers have to bring this up during the examination for discovery. This means that there is a concern about preserving the evidence. Once you have become aware of the intent to display your page, then you may choose to shut down your account.

The opposing lawyers can go to your Facebook site on the morning that they meet with you and your lawyers, for the examination for discovery. They will have a print out of all the Facebook information. Some insurers will hire a computer forensics expert to assist them in putting together their Facebook evidence. If you have waited, and then delete or close your account after this has happened, then it is very difficult for you to dispute the evidence. It also makes you look like you are trying to hide evidence.

The insurance answer

Being forthright and making the right choices is the best answer. If you do find yourself in a civil case, then your own ethics should guide you to the the correct behaviour. We thank Canadian Underwriter for bringing this latest news to our attention.