As the Internet expands and social media becomes ever more popular, insurance companies and their investigators and attorneys are often turning to Facebook and other internet venues to help defend against injured workers’ claims. Requests for access to Facebook posting are not that uncommon anymore. Moreover, Courts typically allow these requests because, as a general rule, postings on Facebook are meant to be shared with others.
An injured worker is hard-pressed to argue that the insurer should not have access to photos and other information when their 600+ “friends” have access to that information. Photographs and status updates thus do not possess the expectation of privacy that would prompt the Court to otherwise protect them from disclosure. So please be wise.
The point is this: an injured worker should be careful about what information is posted on a social media site. Moreover, friend requests from claims representatives, insurance investigators, or safety risk managers from employers should not be accepted. An injured worker also should not seek to friend the claims representative nor anyone else associated with the defense of their case.
The use of common sense and self-restraint in the ever-expanding digital age should preclude the injured worker from having to explain inconsistent or embarrassing photos or status updates at a deposition or trial. A great question to ask yourself before posting information is whether you would be able to explain that information to the other attorney or a judge – if you were ultimately asked to do so. Please act with these guidelines in mind.
If you wish to discuss your case with a workers’ compensation lawyer, please feel free to contact our office. We are willing to discuss your case with you at no cost.