Can what I post on social media be used as evidence?
The short answer is, yes. Any and all social media posts of any person can be utilised as evidence in any proceedings if they are relevant to a fact in issue in those proceedings.
For example, in the case of Elizabeth Ann Findlay v. Queensland Folk Federation Inc, the Plaintiff made a claim for major depressive disorder because of a closed head injury after a number of stage lights fell on her. In that case, the Plaintiff’s Facebook profile was entered into evidence to support the suggestion that she was having a far more sociable and enjoyable existence than what she was prepared to concede. Obviously, this evidence had an adverse effect on her case.
Unfortunately, posts of this kind can work against the interests of a plaintiff even though the post itself may be somewhat misleading and misrepresentative. A social media post of someone engaging in a social activity does not, in itself, establish that the person is not suffering from any psychological or emotional injury. Unfortunately, insurers will not hesitate to rely upon any social media posts, where available, to counter any suggestion by an injured person as to a restriction of their ability to engage in normal activities if the social media posts suggest, on their face, otherwise.
There have also been instances where plaintiffs have deleted social media posts and same has come to the attention of the insurer. In those cases, evidence as to the deletion of the posts have had a very adverse effect on the credibility of the plaintiff. The insurer, in that particular case, was able to seek an order to access the deleted material.
Even if the plaintiff’s social media accounts are set to private, an insurer may argue that the social media accounts are relevant to a fact in issue in the proceedings and the posts can be accessed through a discoverability order or a subpoena.
All in all, it is in the interests of the plaintiff not to post during any proceedings or court action. Any social media post, even those innocently posted or innocuous as to what they depict, will be utilised by an insurer, if possible, to diminish the credibility of an injured person.
Brydens Lawyers are experts in the prosecution of all personal injury cases. Whether it be a claim for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, public liability accident, medical negligence claim or workers compensation claim, contact the experts at Brydens Lawyers for expert legal advice and representation at Brydens Lawyers.