There's an important relationship between your claim for benefits under workers' compensation and social media accounts. Your social media posts can be used as evidence against you. If you are a plaintiff in a workers' compensation or personal injury case, you can assume that insurance adjusters and defense attorneys are keeping a close tab on your social-media feeds. They are looking for photographs and any interactions that could suggest that you are exaggerating an injury or got an injury doing something besides what you claim. Insurance adjusters and defense firms will also be looking out for any posts that might discredit you or your case. Best practice is not to post any content about the work injury or the claim. Additionally, attorneys advise against using social media in any way while your claim is open. Even inadvertent or harmless posts may jeopardize your workers' compensation claim.
Managing Workers' Compensation and Social Media
After a work injury, Here are four suggestions for managing your social media accounts while your workers' compensation claim
- ARCHIVE. If you are in the middle of a case, you should stop using social media and archive the content of your accounts. This means that it isn’t available online, but the content is available if it is requested as evidence. If you delete your content, or destroy devices, it will come across like you have something to hide.
- STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA. Your best bet is to stop using social media by archiving and deactivating your accounts. If you don’t do that, consider not posting or commenting, and just follow your friends. Set your privacy settings to high, remove people you don’t know from your friend lists, and don’t accept requests from people or organizations that you don’t know.
- DELETE PHOTOS. Remove photos and tags to photos of you engaged in any kind of activity. These can be taken out of context easily by a defense attorney.
- PROCEED WITH CAUTION. If you maintain accounts and continue to post, assume that every post, like, and comment will be read by the opposing legal team, a judge, and a jury. Don’t post anything regarding your accident, injury, or personal injury case online.
Mismanaging social media accounts while on workers' compensation is one of the mistakes that harm a work injury claim. Your employer may dispute workers' compensation claim based on photos or other content he or she sees on your social media account.
How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help You Manage Your Social Media Accounts While Your Claim Is Active
An experienced workers' compensation attorney
can help you bring and defend your claim for benefits. The attorney may be able to monitor and evaluate your social media accounts to help limit potential inconsistencies. Keep in mind that your employer and his or her workers' compensation insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible. They may hire a private investigator to monitor injured workers and their social media accounts. If they view or find pictures of you doing things that you claim you can't do because of your work injuries, they may bring this up at the workers' compensation hearing.
For example, if you suffer from a serious fall – one of the most common workers' compensation injuries – and break your leg, don't post pictures of yourself going golfing.
Having an experienced workers' compensation attorney on your side means you have someone that is fighting for your best interests, not the insurance company's bottom line. He or she can also help you understand how to prepare for your appointment with the workers' compensation doctor.
An attorney is an invaluable asset for you to bring and defend your claim for benefits. If you have further questions about how you can protect yourself during a workers' compensation claim, contact us today.