25 May Facebook – Please Be Cautious

Did you know that ICBC can and will use your Facebook posts against you in court? If you claim to be injured and unable to engage in pre-accident activities but your posts show you are active and social, you will lose credibility with the court.  This will affect how much money the court awards you for damages.

In the case of Tambosso v. Holmes, 2015 BCSC 359, the main issue in the case was the Plaintiff’s credibility.  She claimed to have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression after two motor vehicle accidents.  She described her life before the accidents as vibrant, hardworking, social and happy.  She told her physicians and other experts that after the accident she was “housebound”, stopped seeing friends and completely shut herself in.

The Plaintiff’s Facebook posts were in sharp contrast to her evidence and the history she had provided to her physicians.  Facebook posts described the Plaintiff enjoying activities and partying with friends just weeks after the accident.  Facebook photos showed her attending a Stagette, where she drank alcohol and tubed on a river, and a Halloween party that she attended in costume.

The trial judge approached the Facebook documents with caution, accepting that people are more inclined to post positive details of their lives.  Even so, the court relied upon the Facebook records and concluded that the Plaintiff was exaggerating and fabricating her symptoms and limitations.

We deal with this issue all the time with our clients.  As your lawyers, we would be able to offer you advice on how to handle your Facebook account in a manner that truly reflected how you were managing your life following your accident.