ICBC Accessing Claimant’s Facebook Pages
ICBC has been accessing sites such as Facebook, Blogger, MySpace, and other social newtorking sites in order to investigate injury claims.
ICBC has specifically hired staff whose job it is to search the Internet for all Plaintiffs.
If the site has poor security settings, ICBC just searches the site.
ICBC also often allegedly gains access to these sites by using deceptive measures such as “inventing” a friend who then contacts the claimant for access.
ICBC thoroughly searches the sites looking for photographs, notes, blogs, etc. Their purpose is to find photographs that could be damaging to the case in front of a Judge or jury (eg. drinking or being drunk at a party, engaging in sports or other physical activity, travelling to far off destinations for vacations).
As well, ICBC looks for notes where a Plaintiff has talked about the case, how he/she is feeling, what he/she will be doing next weekend, and so on.
Generally, ICBC looks for anything online that will hurt the claimant’s case.
If you currently use sites like Facebook etc., we recommend claimants use the maximum privacy controls available on each site, to limit viewing of photographs and personal information. As well, we recommend that you avoid posting any photographs of yourself, and refrain from discussing how you are feeling, or any details about your case.
Remember that nothing is truly private if it is online, and that everything online is accessible to anyone with a computer.
You may think you’re safe by using security settings, but this is not the case. ICBC has also been successful recently in getting a court order requiring the injured party to give ICBC lawyers access to the injured party’s entire Facebook site, including deleted material, regardless of the security settings..
Moral of the story? If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, be very careful what you post on your Facebook or other social networking site.
If you have any questions on any serious injury claims, contact Paul Mitchell, Q.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-869-1115.