Tag: Toronto injury lawyers

Social Media and Lawsuits

In today’s technological world, either you or someone you know uses a social media website such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Social media offers benefits such as staying in touch with friends and loved ones as well as sharing events life events with your social circles. Regardless of the online platform, if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, an insurance company will inevitably come looking for your social media accounts.

Some may call it creeping, others call it spying. Regardless of the term, the insurance company has one goal: to gather as much evidence as possible to bolster their position and deny you your claim. They will compile social media posts, pictures, videos and just about anything else that could be relevant to their defense. And if it’s relevant, it’s producible at trial. The lawsuits for pain and suffering go through a civil court trial. In Ontario, most if not all personal injury trials are decided not by a judge but by six people from the street who were called to civil jury service. These six individuals will view your pictures and judge whether your injuries limiting your activities or not. A lawyer acting for the negligent driver and paid for by the negligent driver’s insurance company, will request a that the claimant to produce social media posts and activity log, which cannot be deleted. If the claimant refuse to do so, the insurance lawyer may seek court’s order for such production and costs for the motion against the claimant.

My recommendation to avoid acrimony, if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, or anticipate you will be, it’s best to be one step ahead of the insurance company; deactivate your social media accounts and ask your friends and family to avoid posting anything relevant about you for the duration of the lawsuit. Some readers may think that by increasing their private setting, they can safely maintain an online presence during this time.

Although increasing your privacy settings may seem like a smart tactic to avoiding judgmental reviews of insurance companies, it doesn’t always work. Insurers can still find your profile through search engines and your friends. Yes, your friends. They can hire private investigators to investigate your social circles and lurk their accounts.

Why is my insurance company telling me which doctor to see?

When your insurance company wants to book a physical examination with their own doctor, it’s called an insurer’s assessment or examination. The purpose of these examinations is to verify whether you have been truthful in describing your health conditions, both before and after the accident. If you are being asked to undergo an insurer’s examination, it is advisable that you consult with your Toronto injury lawyers prior to the exam to make sure that your attendance is truly required, and if so, that the insurance company has provided you with proper notice and considerations.

Is an Insurer’s Medical Exam Necessary?

This is a question that Toronto injury lawyers hear often. When an accident victim has already been to see their own doctor, it is natural for them to wonder why an insurance company would put them through the added inconvenience of going for yet another examination. When the victim is already starting to feel the pinch of financial hardship resulting from the injury, they may even wonder if the insurer’s physician is going to give them a fair assessment.

In Ontario, insurers have the right to request one or more medical examinations of claimants provided that their requests are “reasonably necessary” for them to determine whether or not to pay on a claim.

As “reasonably necessary” can be a bit vague, your insurance company is required to provide you with an Explanation of Benefits as well as with the reason that they are requesting the examination.

But before attending the examination, you should always consult with your personal injury lawyer.

As your injury lawyers, Clarke Law can help you prepare for and know what to expect during an insurer’s medical examination with a doctor hired by the insurance company. We can also help you dispute any findings that are unfair (after all, this is an examination that is being paid for by the insurance company!)

During the Insurer’s Medical Examination (“IME”)

If after consulting with your lawyer, it is determined that your insurance company is in compliance with all the proper regulations in requiring the examination, you will be required to attend the examination in order to determine if the benefits being applied for are reasonable and necessary.

No matter what, it is always best to be honest during the examination. If there are inconsistencies between your claim and what you tell the doctor, it could very likely lead to delays in your claim being processed – or if your insurance company thinks that you are being deceptive or misleading, your claim may be denied.

After the IME

Follow the one or more examinations requested by your insurance company, the physician will submit a report to the insurance company which may or may not be favourable to your claim. Your personal injury lawyer can let you know whether or not she thinks the report or any offered compensation is fair.

If the compensation that is offered is not fair, we can proceed with further legal action by filing an application for mediation and further for an arbitration determination.

When insurance companies insist that you see one of their doctors, they may be within their rights to do so. Having a team of Toronto injury lawyers on your side is important to make sure that you are treated fairly at any insurer examination.