Social media is everywhere nowadays and many of us are deeply involved in sharing various aspects of our lives online. We share not only with our closest friends and family, but with acquaintances and, depending on your security settings, with just about anyone who has access to the internet and an inclination to click on your profile. While this is not usually a problem for most, but if you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, staying plugged into social media could jeopardize the outcome of your case.
Employers and their insurance companies are no strangers to the digital world and they will use all resources available to investigate your claim, including social media, to undercut an injured worker’s claim and deny them the benefits they need.
Understanding the Impact of Your Social Media Posts
The goal of any insurance company is to do everything possible to reduce their liability and ensure you receive little to no compensation, ultimately protecting their bottom line. Not only will they reach out to your friends, family, and co-workers for information, but they will search for you online and dig for any information they can use to deny your claim, even if it means taking a post out of context. For example, if you post a photo of a night out with friends and you appear to be happy and at ease, they might argue that you are not actually in as much pain as you claim to be. Perhaps you were just trying your best to be happy and regain some semblance of a normal life, but the insurance company will twist it to make you appear dishonest.
If you make a post that mentions money, no matter how benign it might seem, the insurance company might say that you are only pursuing your workers’ compensation claim for financial gain.
Posts About Your Employer
Another big no-no for your online activity relates to complaints about your employer. Having a negative attitude could reflect badly on you during a workers’ compensation hearing. In fact, your employers and their insurance company might try to argue that you are exaggerating your injuries to spite your employer simply because you hate your job. This could make you appear to be petty or vindictive.
Not only will making negative posts about your employer make you look bad in court, but it could potentially have more serious consequences. For example, if you post something that is either harmful or untrue, your employer could take legal action against you and sue you for social media defamation, which is defined as a false, published statement that harms the reputation of a person or business.
Take Proper Measures to Protect Your Claim
Navigating social media during this time can be difficult and even the most harmless posts can have terrible and unintended consequences. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to managing your online presence:
- Stay off social media: Of course, the most effective way to eliminate the possibility that social media could backfire on you is to abstain from using it. Either suspend or delete your accounts until your case reaches a resolution.
- Change your privacy settings: It might not be easy for some to completely cut social media from their lives. Whatever the reasons are for why you need to stay plugged in, make sure you set the privacy settings on your accounts to private in order to limit who sees your posts.
- Deleting a post does not mean it is truly gone: If you think the post you deleted is a goner, you are wrong. Nothing you delete is ever really gone, so think twice before you post something to social media.
- Ask your friends and family not to share photos of you: You might be managing your online presence perfectly, but others could end up posting pictures of you and the insurance company will surely find them. Talk to your friends and family about this and make sure they understand the importance of respecting your privacy.
- Never discuss your condition or your injury case: This should go without saying, but it is critical never to use social media to discuss the status of your claim, your health, or any other details related to your workers’ compensation case. If you need to talk about it, contact your attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Norfolk
If you were injured while performing your job duties, you are entitled to workers’ compensation to assist you during this difficult time. At Kalfus & Nachman PC, we can assist you in filing your lawsuit and fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the benefits you need. Our Norfolk workers’ compensation team is dedicated to defending the rights of employees in Virginia.
For the help you need with your workers’ compensation claim, contact us today at (855) 880-8163 to schedule your free initial case evaluation.