An experienced Palm Beach County Florida workers compensation lawyer can tell you that what you put out into the world can and will be used against you.
It is important to understand that insurance companies and defense attorneys will likely conduct a full internet search on injured workers at some point in time after reporting an accident or injury. They not only will search on Google, but they will search directly on Facebook, Twitter and similar social media sites.
What does that mean? Injured workers’ social media postings are now discoverable pursuant to a court order. An insurance company can petition the court to force your Palm Beach Gardens, FL workers’ compensation lawyer to hand over their client’s account password and information. The workers’ compensation insurance companies can even get information contained on private laptops, iPads and home computers.
Research from Google shows that there are more than 1.19 billion Facebook users, that there were more than 300 million posters on Instagram in December of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 showed an average of 236 million monthly Twitter users. This means there are a lot of opportunities for injured workers’ activities to be used against them. This applies even when others post pictures of the injured workers.
There is no doubt that social media allows friends and family a great way to keep in touch. However, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others have created a danger zone where land mines lurk under the surface.
A Palm Beach Gardens, FL workers compensation lawyer knows that seemingly harmless Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts can be used by the work comp adjusters to deny medical care, terminate indemnity payments and shut down a case.
As Palm Beach County workers’ compensation lawyers, we have seen how these posts and pictures are used by the insurance companies. First, the injured worker submits a claim that an accident or injury occurred and is then interviewed by the adjuster or at the initial medical provider’s office. The injured worker advises that they have some inability or disability that prevents them from doing some activity or participating in some event. Then, the post or picture appears online showing the injured worker lifting, bending, surfing, jumping or doing whatever it is that they said they could not.
All it takes is one post, one picture or one comment to derail an otherwise valid workers’ compensation case.
Insurance companies will likely use your online information against you and suspend all medical and lost wage benefits if they find a hint of a conflicting statement, misrepresentation, exaggeration or any comments or pictures that are in conflict with an injured worker’s statement as to what they can and cannot do.
If you wish to avoid these dangerous pitfalls, other than simply shutting everything down, call an experienced Palm Beach Gardens workers’ compensation lawyer at Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today to find out how to protect your privacy and your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits.