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How Facebook can impact your personal injury/disability claim in Ontario

Social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace have become increasingly popular over the years. People use these website to post information about themselves, post photos, even videos. These websites are intended to be a fun way to network and interact with others.

Accident victims who start legal actions often make claims that their lives have changed since their accident. People complain of constant pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety and being unable to enjoy their activities or their lives like they did before their accident.

Traditionally, insurance companies have requested mountains of documents and medical records to substantiate and confirm the accuracy of an accident victim’s personal injury claim. Insurance companies are now starting to look to less traditional avenues to get all the dirt they can on an accident victim’s claim.

Insurance companies are now starting to investigate the content of people’s Facebook and Myspace pages to confirm the accuracy and verify the credibility of an accident victim’s case. If you’ve been hurt or injured in an accident, it’s very important to monitor exactly what content you put on these websites.

Ontario Courts have recently ruled that the content of social networking pages like Facebook and Myspace is relevant in personal injury cases. What that means is when an insurance company finds out that you have a profile on one of these websites; regardless if it’s a public profile; or a private profile; it will likely be ordered by the Court that any information, photos and/or videos from these pages be produced to the insurer.

If the accident victims says one thing, but the information, pictures or videos on a social networking site say another; the accident victim will be caught in their lie.

Insurance adjusters are now being trained to search social networking sites to get all the information they can on an accident claimant. All of the information which they can get publicly; or through application to the Court will be used against the accident victim in their case.

What can you do to protect yourself? Well; for starters; don’t lie to yourself, the insurer or your lawyer. Take down your Facebook page. Take down your Myspace page. Don’t even give the insurer any opportunity to dig for information which can be used against you. If you think you can hide that you have a profile on a social networking page from an insurer; you’re wrong. If you lie, you’re not only lying to the insurer, your lawyer and yourself; but you’re also seriously jeopardizing your case. Insurers can also ask your family at discovery or trial whether or not you have a social networking page like Facebook or Myspace. It’s just best you take the page down.

If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in this article, or your would like copies of some Ontario Court decisions where Judges have ordered production of Facebook or Myspace pages to insurers, please contact Brian Goldfinger or Goldfinger Injury Lawyers at 416-730-1777 or 1-877-730-1777

If you’ve been hurt or injured in an accident, call Goldfinger Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation. DON’T PAY UNTIL YOUR CASE SETTLES!


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