August 28, 2015 Articles

Social Media: Discovery and Use in Insurance Coverage Disputes

Courts have generally rejected the idea of a "social network site privilege" and have broadened discovery rules to include relevant social media data, and insurance companies and their adjusters now regularly seek discovery of social media content in coverage cases

by Rick E. Kubler

A new survey released by Pew Research Center in early 2015 found that 52 percent of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from the 42 percent of Internet users who did so in 2013.[1] In addition, for the first time, more than half of online adults 65 and older (56 percent) use Facebook.[2] Millennials flocked to Instagram with more than half of Internet-using young adults ages 18–29 (53 percent) using the Facebook-owned photo site.[3] Popular social media sites include the following:

·         Facebook

·         Twitter

·         LinkedIn

·         Pinterest

·         Google+

·         Tumble

·         Instagram

·         VK

·         Flickr

·         Vine

·         Snapchat

·         Meetup

·         Tagged

·         Ask.fm

·         MeetMe

·         ClassMates


Individuals’ willingness to share the details of their lives on social media has created an unrivaled source of evidence, which represents fertile ground for trial lawyers seeking discovery. Social media evidence can be particularly helpful in the many areas of the law, including insurance coverage disputes.

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