In British Columbia, personal injury claims are governed by the Law of Negligence. This law states that a person who has suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence has a right to seek compensation for their losses. To prove negligence and liability, the injured party must show that the other party was at fault and that their actions or inactions caused the injury.
A social media check can determine whether the injured party’s conduct before or after the accident was consistent with the facts of the case and whether any pre-existing conditions may have contributed to their injury.
For example, let us take the hypothetical case of Jake, a young carpenter who was rear-ended six months ago and could not fully return to work due to limiting neck and upper back pain. Because Jake is a contractor, he depends on his labour to sustain himself. The doctors have told him that his condition may be permanent, so Jake seeks a lawyer to commence legal action against the driver who rear-ended him.
During the process, Jake decides that the warmth of a Mexican holiday is just what he needs to alleviate his pain and stress, so he accepts his friends’ invitation to join them. One day, Jake feels better than in the past six months, so when his friends dare him to jump from a cliff in Acapulco, he does it. Jake is so happy and proud that he posts photos and videos of the trip on social media. The problem is that the defendant’s lawyer has seen the videos and now argues that Jake is not telling the truth.
In British Columbia, the courts have held that a person’s conduct on social media can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim. This means that if someone posts something on social media that contradicts their account of the accident or their claims of injury or suffering, it could be used against them in a court of law.
For social media evidence to be admissible in court, it must meet the criteria set out by the British Columbia Supreme Court and be consistent with the Rules of Evidence. This includes proving that the evidence is relevant to the case, that it is reliable and authentic, and that it is not unduly prejudicial. Furthermore, the evidence must be presented in a clear, concise, and credible manner.