A successful workers’ compensation case in Georgia does not require you to prove fault for your injury. Instead, it is enough to show that you were performing work-related tasks and suffered an injury or illness as a result. What many workers do not realize, however, is that certain things can still hurt a workers’ comp claim – including common social media mistakes.
Is Social Media Content Admissible as Evidence in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Yes, in most cases, the courts in Georgia will allow social media content and activity to be submitted as evidence in a workers’ compensation case. Since social media is part of the public domain, anything posted on a social media site – such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or YouTube – could be used against you in a court of law. Similarly, a workers’ comp insurance company has the legal authority to use social media activities as evidence against a claimant during the investigation of a claim. This is why it is critical to be careful what you post during an open workers’ compensation case in Atlanta.
How Can Social Media Be Used Against You in a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Social media apps and websites have become such a prominent part of life that it can be difficult to remember that they offer windows into a claimant’s life – and potential sources of evidence during a workers’ compensation claim. An insurance company can use your social media presence to investigate your workers’ comp claim and evaluate your losses. Social media activity could hurt your workers’ compensation case in many ways, including:
- Videos that show you exercising or performing daily activities without any apparent pain or immobility could make the insurer question the extent or existence of your claimed injuries.
- Status updates about the accident could call your reliability into question if you mix up any details. It could also result in a liability dispute if you say something self-incriminating.
- Photographs or evidence of you enjoying your life can hurt any claim that you make of pain and suffering damages, potentially reducing the value of your workers’ comp claim.
Insurers will do what they can to save money on client payouts – even taking social media activity out of context and using it against a claimant. Switching your accounts to private is not enough to protect you from social media blunders. Insurance companies can request access to a plaintiff’s private accounts and messages from a judge, in certain circumstances. The best practice is to stay off of social media entirely until your workers’ compensation case ends.
Social Media Tips During a Workers’ Compensation Claim
While you do not have to prove fault to obtain workers’ compensation in Georgia, you must still check all of the boxes for benefit eligibility. Do your best to protect your right to recover with these social media tips:
- Take a social media break. During an open workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta or any active litigation, make it a rule not to post on social media at all. This includes photographs, videos, status updates, comments, messages and location check-ins. Anything that you do on social media could be twisted around and used against you.
- Do not delete anything you’ve already posted. If you’ve posted about your accident or injury, it is crucial not to delete it after the fact. This can be viewed as the destruction of evidence, which can get you in a great deal of legal trouble and even lead to criminal charges.
- Tell your friends not to post. Even if you take a hiatus from social media during your workers’ comp claim, you may still have a presence online if others post about you, such as family members or friends. Be sure to tell everyone not to post until your claim has been closed.
When in doubt, don’t post anything at all to social media during an open claim. Then, contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can give you sound advice about what to do and what not to do to strengthen your workers’ compensation case.