Social Media Surveillance is a tool for investigators of all professions. Its also now being used in Personal Injury Claims.
Personal injury can be life changing and can happen including motor vehicle accidents, environmental accidents, work related accidents and various forms of negligence. As a result of an accident, there is some form of physical and psychological injury to victims. The seriousness of the injuries depends on how soon they can recover and go on with their lives.
Insurance companies will always try to blame something else as an excuse to reduce claim for losses. One of the most common tools to assist insurers is social media.
If you have an existing compensation claim or benefits because of a personal injury, your behaviour in the social media world can affect how the relevant insurance company can assess your claim.
With many advancements in technology, social media is quite critical in our daily activities. We use social media to connect with friends and family. However, there are times where we could be oversharing our lives.
When you have a personal injury claim, insurance companies always refer to your social media as part of their initial research to see if your injuries are consistent with any photos and/words posted online. Searches can expand to your friends and family as well who may have posted a photo with you in it.
Posting about your daily activities may affect your claim, even if you think that what you are doing is harmless or unrelated to your claim. Insurers will not hesitate to use the posts against you.
You should be aware of Digby v The Compass Institute Inc & Anor  QSC 308 (‘Digby’) which was recognised as the first case in Australia to involve an order by the Court for a plaintiff in a personal injury claim to provide a copy of all material contained in their Facebook account to the defendant insurer.
We understand that social media could be hard to let go, so we recommend avoiding posting of the following:
- Photographs of you participating in a strenuous activity, for example, sports;
- Word posts about any strenuous activity
- Posts that reveal your current or intended location
- Sharing legal advice including your solicitor’s advice, strategies, or legal positions
Even we defend the allegations from the insurer that the posts on social media are not consistent with the injuries, it is possible that the damages claimed could be significantly reduced.
If you are having any issues with your personal injury compensation claim, including investigations from the insurance company who aim to attack your credibility, our personal injury lawyers are here to provide advice and assistance.
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