Workers’ Compensation and The Dangers of Social Media
- August 1, 2016
- Laura Lanzisera
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Have you ever had the feeling that someone is watching you? You may sense that someone is following you as you are out running errands or working in the yard but that is not the only place that they can be “watching”.
In today’s age of computers and smart phones, everyone is constantly updating their “status” and activities on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and even YouTube with nearly 65% of Americans having a profile on a social networking site in 2016. These social media sites have become a treasure trove of information for the insurance company and defense counsel in identifying potential defenses in workers’ compensation claims.
While it might seem like a harmless thing to do, you should be aware that something as simple as updating your profile picture (even if it is an old picture) could be just what the insurance company or defense counsel is looking for to weaken your case and put you on the defensive. Even a simple post that you are going out of town or moving might be just what the insurance company is looking for and would suggest a good time for doing surveillance. There are even investigative firms that promote their services of monitoring social media sites to defense attorneys and insurance companies.
One example we have read about was when an injured warehouse employee claimed that he was not able to work due to a back injury but bragged about bowling a 300 game on social media. Another injured worker (a judo instructor) filed for total and permanent disability and then later posted class times on his social media account.
You may be wondering what happens if you get caught? The insurance companies will use this information to terminate or deny your benefits.
Even though some injuries do not keep you from doing many activities, broadcasting everything about your activities and how you are spending your time while pursuing a workers’ compensation claim could undermine your credibility and your claim. The best advice it to avoid maintaining your social media accounts when pursuing a workers’ compensation case but if you feel you have to keep up to date on your “status” use discretion.
If you think that the insurance company is monitoring your social media accounts, contact The Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera. We will work to make sure that you get the benefits you are entitled to under Georgia law.