Seeking Justice in the social media age? The hard facts about social media you must know before you make any claim

Social Media including Facebook plays an important role in our lives. We would like to showcase our lives on the social media, sometimes accurately and sometimes otherwise. Social media is constantly monitored and used by national crime agencies to pre-empt and stop the preparators from committing crimes against humanity. However, lately it is not only the crime agencies who have taken keen interest in the social media profiles of ordinary people, but the judiciary, recruiters, insurance companies, finance companies and even Universities are equally very interested in to analyse your social media profiles in order to establish the veracity of your claim or counterclaim.

In a recent £850,000 personal Injury case at the High Court, the sitting Judge dismissed the entire claim on the grounds of dishonesty and lies. The claimant claimed that he has suffered physical impairment, emotional and psychological breakdowns, and post-traumatic stress disorder after a road traffic accident on M4.

The Insurance company provided contrary evidence of claimant’s life after the accident through his social media posts and shares, especially from his Facebook account. The Claimant’s profiles and posts created a totally different picture of his personal life than what he argued for in the High Court.

Based on the posts uploaded and shared on claimant’s facebook the High Court Judge concluded that the claimant exaggerated his symptoms and deliberately and consciously lied upon cross-examination. From the Claimant’s Facebook posts, the Judge concluded that  “it would seem that he was able to present an entirely normal face to the world”. “He has been on enjoyable holidays and partaken in normal family activities”.

“He enters into light-hearted and joking banter with friends. He enters into emotionally warm interactions with friends particularly at times of anniversaries and birthdays and so on.”

The judge concluded that by reference to claimant’s Facebook posts he “seems to have been living his life normally”, and “yet by reference to the accounts he gave to experts and his presentation in the witness box, “he is a broken shell of a man unable to do almost anything”.

Suffice to conclude that claimant did not help himself by posting and sharing pictures and stories of his normal life and claiming a totally different life in the court. The very fact that he was involved in a road traffic accident and suffered from minor injuries led to an awarded of only £4,250 in general damages. In conclusion, it is important for everyone to release and understand that our every activity minor or major on digital media has a digital footprint and it is easily retrievable by a person skilful in that art.

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