How Facebook and Other Social Media Can Be Used Against You. Written by Eric T. Johnson

If you have filed a Workers Compensation claim against your employer, and if your claim results in serious injury, such that you have lost significant time from work, have undergone surgeries, and a Qualified Medical Evaluator or your treating physician has set forth significant limitations and restriction on your work activities, chances are the adjuster for the insurance company (or the employer) has hired counsel to help defend the claim. This is true even if you are unrepresented. There are many strategies to defend a claim. One of the most potent is hiring a private investigator to secretly follow you (the injured worker) about in your daily activities, and video record those activities, and then send the recordings to evaluators, doctors and judges for comment. This can obviously potentially undermine statements made by injured workers to doctors regarding the disabling effects of the injury. However, video surveillance is a rather expensive means to defend a case that requires paying a private investigator for his time and materials. A much less expensive option is for the adjuster to spend a few minutes on his/her time on the computer, “Google” your name or look you up on Facebook or some other social media. What they find will depend on what you hold out to the public. If you have pictures of yourself playing golf with friends, holding the biggest catch of fish ever on the end of a fishing line, or just opening a bottle wine at a friends wedding, lets hope that you are not claiming a serious disabling hand condition. Because if you are, those pictures will be circulated around to evaluators and judges, and you may have to explain any inconsistencies in the record. The point is, be careful what you tell doctors in terms of your limitations, and be sure that is consistent with your capabilities. You do not want to overstate of understate your injuries. But if you do claim serious disabling injuries, be sure that you don’t furnish the defendants with pictures meant for friends and family, that can be misconstrued in a Workers Compensation claim. Set your Facebook Settings to the highest level of privacy, or simply don’t post provocative pictures of any sort online.