February 24, 2020

How Facebook Can Undermine Your Workers’ Compensation Case

If you have a computer and enjoy sufing the web, there is a good chance that you have a profile on Facebook, mySpace, Twitter or any of more than a hundred social media sites.   These sites exist to help you connect with others – often for social purposes, and sometimes for business purposes.

How can an account at Facebook or many of these other sites hurt your workers’ compensation case?  When you create a profile on Facebook, your account has a default privacy setting that offers no privacy.  Anyone who has a Facebook account anywhere in the world can find your profile and read what you have posted, what others have posted on your “wall” and view photos that have been “tagged” with your name.

Insurance defense lawyers are well aware of Facebook, and they are aware that many Facebook users may not be very savvy about changing privacy settings.   Perhaps there is a photo of you attending a ball game or a family gathering.  Maybe you listed yourself as the CEO of ABC Enterprises. Thanks to New York workers’ compensation lawyer Jim Reed who posted about this issue on his New York InjuryLaw blog.

Photos and updates can easily be taken out of context.   Even your frequency of posting can be used as evidence that you have the capacity to perform clerical type of work.   Posts on Facebook and other social media sites can be used against you to put you on the defensive and as leverage to reduce the value of your case.

So, if you enjoy using Facebook or similar sites, take a few minutes to learn about the privacy settings.  Block your profile to all but known friends and avoid “friending” someone that you don’t really know.

If you were not already aware that there is no real privacy in the world, now you know.  Take steps to protect yourself.