In this day and age, most Americans use social media in some form or fashion. Usually, maintaining and updating a social media account has no impact on user’s life. However, if you’ve suffered a work injury it’s probably in your best interest to stop using, if not totally shut down, your social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.). While this course of action may seem extreme, you can be sure that your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier will likely start searching for and monitoring your social media accounts to see if something that has been posted (by you or someone else) will help them in their defense of your workers’ compensation claim.
In fact, there have been cases where information found on social media platforms have led to the nullification of an employee’s workers’ compensation claim. Some examples include:
A Los Angeles-area warehouse worker who claimed his back injury prevented him from working posted that he bowled a perfect game on his Facebook page.
A beauty queen was receiving workers’ compensation income benefits because of a foot injury she suffered at work. Shawna Palmer told doctors her fractured toe prevented her from working or, even wearing shoes as a grocery store clerk. But a YouTube video shows her competing in a beauty pageant in high heels during the time she was receiving the income benefits. As a result, the benefits were suspended, and she is now being prosecuted for workers’ compensation fraud. If she’s found guilty, she faces up to one year in jail and may have to pay almost $25,000 in fines.