Can Social Media Be Used Against You in a Workers’ Compensation Case in Massachusetts?

Many people enjoy documenting various aspects of their lives through social media. While social media can be a great way to connect with others, it can sometimes be too revealing. In a Workers’ Compensation case, your social media might be used against you.

Your Workers’ Compensation claim is filed with an insurance company that will pay benefits to you if your claim is approved. The claims process is not automatic, and insurance companies regularly investigate potential fraud, including searching your social media. People sometimes assume their social media profiles are meant to be private and cannot be obtained by an insurance company, but this is not true. Social media is often much less private than people realize, and insurance companies can and will use this information to their advantage. Talk to an attorney if you believe your social media will be used to deny your claim. There might be ways to protect yourself.

Get a free, confidential evaluation of your claims when you call our Boston Workers’ Compensation attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.

Why Social Media Might Be Used Against Someone in a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Case

When injured employees file Workers’ Compensation claims, they do so with their employer’s insurance. Employers are legally required to carry this kind of insurance so injured workers can be paid benefits while recovering from on-the-job accidents. Insurance companies often investigate claims before approving or denying them, and they might look into your social media accounts.

One of the most common reasons insurance companies look at someone’s social media is to detect fraud. Insurance fraud is a common occurrence that costs insurance companies tons of money. If they find content on your social media suggesting your claims are less than truthful, they will seize on it and happily use it against you.

The insurance company might also scan your social media to determine whether your case meets the eligibility criteria for Workers’ Compensation. After an accident at work, you might have posted about the incident on your social media. The insurance company might take this information and use it to determine if your accident was sufficiently work-related or if you are considered an employee rather than an independent contractor.

Is an Insurance Company Allowed to Use My Social Media Against Me in a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Case?

In a civil lawsuit and trial, there are very strict rules surrounding how the parties may obtain and use evidence. Sometimes, people are able to protect their social media accounts from being used against them because evidentiary rules will not allow it. However, Workers’ Compensation claims do not always play out in the courtroom, at least not at first. As such, insurance companies might have an easier time obtaining your social media and using it against you without violating any legal rules.

The insurance company might search for your social media and, if it is public, make copies and use them to deny your claim. If your social media is private, the insurance company might contact people you know and ask about the things you have posted online. Rest assured, if there is a way for the insurance company to find your social media, they will.

How to Protect Yourself if Your Social Media is Used Against You in a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Case

If you were recently injured at work and want to protect your social media accounts, an attorney can guide you through certain steps to do so. Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you take steps to keep your social media out of the hands of opposing parties. They can also explain how to avoid making mistakes on social media that might be used against you.

What You Should Do to Protect Your Social Media

If you have filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, you should take steps to activate privacy settings on all your social media profiles. Many people are unaware their profiles are publicly available. As a result, insurance companies and employers have easy access to everything an injured employee posts online.

If you have not done so, call a lawyer. If the insurance company attempts to deny your claim based on information they gleaned from social media, your Attleboro, MA workers compensation attorney can help you appeal their decision.

Things to Avoid Doing to Protect Your Social Media

There are also certain things you should avoid doing in order to better protect your social media profiles from being used against you in a Workers’ Compensation case. First, avoid posting anything about the accident on any social media platforms. Some people post about their injuries online so that friends and family can be informed about the accident and know their loved one is okay. Avoid posing anything beyond this. If friends and family want more details, speak to them offline and ask your attorney if there is any information that should not be disclosed.

Second, avoid contacting people about the accident over social media. In Workers’ Compensation cases, injured employees might reach out to coworkers about the accident to talk about what happened. Not only should you not be discussing your case with anyone, but you should absolutely avoid doing so over social media.

Third, do not allow your employer to access your social media. If you add your employer as a follower or friend on your social media profiles, they can see everything you post online. The insurance company is likely to reach out to your employer for more information, including details that might be obtained through your social media postings.

Speak to Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today

Get a free, confidential evaluation of your claims when you call our Andover, MA Workers’ Compensation attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.