For years, insurance companies and defendants in personal injury lawsuits have used private investigators, surveillance, and other investigatory techniques to gather evidence to discredit a plaintiff’s claims of serious injury. The same applies to workers’ compensation claims. If a picture is taken of plaintiff or claimant dancing the night away or mountain biking while all the while claiming that they have suffered and continue to be impacted by a debilitating injury, that can be evidence more powerful than all the medical records and expert testimony which the claimant may have in his corner.
With the rise of social media, finding such damning evidence can now be done through the click of a mouse. Ill-advised posts and pictures uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites by injury victims, workers’ compensation claimants, friends, and total strangers may be all the evidence needed to ruin a claim.
If you’ve been injured on the job, and are seeking or receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you should absolutely refrain from posting anything regarding the incident that led to your injuries, your medical or physical condition, or your claim. Even seemingly innocuous pictures or posts, or posts that appear to be wholly unrelated to the facts and circumstance of your claim could be used in unforeseen ways against you.
If you think your privacy settings will save you, think again. Facebook and Twitter’s privacy policies warn users that the purpose of the sites is to share information, and that the public can view the posts on the sites. Additionally, it is not unheard of (though it is of dubious ethics) for defendants or insurance companies to attempt to surreptitiously attempt to “friend” or otherwise gain access to a victim’s post through third-parties or false profiles.
If you are filing or have a pending workers’ compensation claim and the prospect of refraining from posting is too much to bear, at least try to heed this practical advice:
- Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Presume that anything you post can and will be seen by your employer or their insurer.
- Tell your friends to refrain from posting any comments or pictures about the incident in question, your injuries, your conduct, or anything about you at all if possible.
- Google yourself every once and a while to see if any damaging information has been posted by others without your knowledge.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Brown: Fighting for New Mexico Workers
We know how hard you work, and we’ll work just as hard for you. Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Brown & Derek Thompson today at (505) 275-6600 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free initial consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation matter. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet, and back to work.
This website has been prepared by the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Brown for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.