Here’s How Social Media Can Affect Your Vermont Workers’ Compensation Claim
Social media is an inevitable part of life. According to Pew Research Center, approximately seven out of ten Americans use social media. That is around 72% of the public. Among the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the damage online activity can have when one is dealing with a legal matter such as a workers’ compensation claim. If you suffered a work injury and filed a workers’ compensation claim, you must keep in mind that what you post online can affect your case. As workers’ compensation attorneys, we have seen this happen. Below, we explain more about how social media can affect your Vermont workers’ compensation claim and what you can do to protect yourself.
How Can Social Media Affect Your Vermont Workers’ Compensation Claim?
After an injured employee files a workers’ compensation claim, their employer and/or the insurance company may hire an investigator to conduct surveillance. Social media is among the latest surveillance tactics private investigators use to gather information about a claimant. If your employer or the insurance company hires a private investigator to conduct surveillance, the investigator will do an internet search to find things that you or someone you know has posted on social media platforms. If they find posts that contradict your claim or injury, they may use that against you in your workers’ compensation claim.
Usually, investigators look for posts, photos, or videos that could be construed as inconsistent with your claim or injury. They look for anything inconsistent with your testimony of what you say you can and can’t do. Suppose you said you are constantly experiencing lower back pain, and then you post a picture of yourself holding a heavy box. That photo could be used against you. Pictures of yourself swimming, fishing, at the gym, gardening, or even dancing at a loved one’s birthday party could be taken out of context and used as evidence against you. To your employer and the insurance company, such pictures mean your injury is less severe than you claim.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
One way to protect yourself and avoid jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim is to stay away from social media. If you can, deactivate your social media accounts and only re-activate them once your workers’ compensation claim is finalized.
If you cannot stay away from social media or deactivate your account, you should make your social media accounts private and refrain from posting anything relating to your injury, your claim, your employer, or your activities. However, it is vital to note that even when you make your social media account private, it may be hard to know what the public can see. For example, a new post could become public without you knowing. Also, remember that the investigator, your employer, or the insurance company can spy on you from a co-worker’s phone or computer.
Additionally, to protect yourself and your workers’ compensation claim, tell your friends and family not to post about your accident, injury, or activities since investigators also look at the social media profiles of the people close to you.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact our qualified Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC today.