People today seem to be glued to their electronic devices. If they aren’t scrolling through their Facebook feed on their cell phones, they’re watching a video on their tablet. People also feel compelled to post the most private thing about themselves for all the world to see. While this can be dangerous in general, it is extremely problematic when you’re in the middle of a workers compensation case.
Our workers comp lawyers in Charlotte have to do a lot of damage control when our clients post about their case online. Here, we’ll talk about the ways in which social media can mess up your workers compensation claim. We will also make suggestions about how you should handle your own social media presence while waiting for your claim to settle.
Social Media Posts Can Be Used as Evidence in Legal Cases Today
Years ago, if you told somebody that stuff they posted online could be used in court, they’d think you were crazy. Today, not only can content from social media be used in a court of law, but it is being used more than other, more traditional types of evidence. If somebody is in the middle of a nasty divorce, their attorney will try to find proof of adultery on social media.
When it comes to your workers compensation case, you’d be surprised how your employer can use your content. Anything you post, like, share, or comment on will be identified by your employer and their insurance carrier. If you post a picture of your injury and someone “likes” the post, it can be used to show that you think your workplace accident was funny. Or, if your friends comment that you finally got a few months’ vacation from work, it will serve as evidence that you have intentionally gotten hurt on the job.
Your Employer and Their Insurance Company Will Be Checking Your Profiles
From the moment you file your workers compensation claim, your employer will start to review your social media accounts. There could be someone in human resources who is dedicated to do this kind of work. Or the insurance company may have their own team of investigators who monitor your social media pages. This may sound paranoid, but it’s the way people operate today.
All your employer needs to find is a post where you intimate that you’re enjoying the time off from work. They’ll print a copy of this post or comment and use it in their case against you. The same is true for any comments your friends make about your accident. This could destroy your workers compensation claim. This is why your Charlotte injury attorney doesn’t want you posting on social media while you’re waiting for your case to settle.
There is No Such Thing a Deleting Your Social Media Comments, Posts, and Pictures
When sites like Facebook and MySpace first came out, it was possible to permanently delete content. For example, if you posted something unpleasant about your significant other and then felt bad about it later, you could delete it. As long as they hadn’t read the comment, there was no harm, no foul. Unless somebody thought to take a screenshot of the post, there was no way anyone could prove you said it.
Today, it doesn’t look this way. Now, anything you post online belongs to the public. People can share it, copy it, and comment on it as much as they want. All somebody has to do is take a picture of it or do a screenshot and it is there forever. Your employer and their insurance company are looking for content that can help their case. If they think they have something to prove your claim was fraudulent or exaggerated, they’ll deny your claim.
Your Online Content Will Be Used Against You
You may think that the stuff you post is innocent. After all, who takes social media seriously? The answer to that question is that a lot of people do. Lawyers have incorporated social media as a treasure trove for evidence. Not only do people take it seriously, but they take it as gospel.
Anything you post about your workers compensation claim will get back to your employer. If someone tags you in a post and you didn’t read it, it doesn’t matter. Once it is put out there for public consumption, it will be used against you. Some of the content that can hurt your workers compensation case include the following:
- Comments about how clumsy you have always been and how people weren’t surprised that you got hurt at work
- Posts that show you drinking or smoking marijuana in the days or hours before your accident
- Pictures of you in the days before the accident with some other sort of injury
- Comments about how you’re enjoying your time “off” from work
- Any post or comment that makes it appear that you have another job
Any of these things can destroy your workers compensation case. Even if it doesn’t totally destroy it, it will make your workers compensation lawyer in Charlotte’s job a lot harder than it already is.
There’s Only So Much Your Workers Compensation Lawyer in Charlotte Can Do to Protect You
If you feel that your workers compensation case is in jeopardy, contact our office right away. You can sit down and meet with one of our experienced Charlotte injury attorneys and have them review your case. They’ll do their best to help protect your rights under workers compensation. However, depending on the information floating around about you online, there’s only so much they can do.
We recommend that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. One of our workers compensation lawyers in Charlotte will reach out to your employer and try to find out what evidence they have against you. They’ll do their best to get your claim approved so you can receive the benefits you deserve.