ICBC, Facebook, Instagram and the Demise of a Personal Injury Claim
For years ICBC has been using social media such as Facebook and Instagram to investigate claims. Regardless of privacy settings, ICBC is able to access many accounts and see the private information and photos of individuals claiming compensation for injuries suffered in car accidents. There have been many court cases where ICBC has sought access through a judge to an individuals social media accounts and that access is typically ordered on the basis that there can really be no expectation of privacy when a person is allowing access to their 500 plus “friends”. Most recently, there has been much media attention on ICBC identifying fraudulent claims through review of social media sites. This is not a new trend, it is something that ICBC has been doing for years. Everyone, but especially those with an active ICBC claim, needs to remember that social media is not private. When you post things on the web, others will see it. Snapchat posts don’t just disappear. They can be screen shotted and saved. Regardless of your privacy settings there are many individuals capable of getting access to your Facebook and Instagram posts. There is no privacy on the web.
When it comes to an ICBC claim, if there are items posted in your social media that are contrary to what you are claiming your limitations are, expect that ICBC will identify them. And it is not just what you post, it is anything that you are tagged in. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family and we all like to put our best foot forward in our social media postings. I warn all of my clients to assume that anything that they post or are tagged in will be seen by the ICBC adjuster and the defense lawyer handling their case. Personal injury claims are defended vigorously. ICBC is very adversarial and will take any steps possible to decrease the amount that you are paid for your case. Don’t destroy your case by ignoring the fact that ICBC will investigate your claim, including through review of social media.