October 29, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Social media increasingly used as evidence in court
Social media has become a global phenomenon that allows people in Washington County to share their life events, day-to-day activities and personal interests with others. While originally embraced by teenagers and young professionals, most demographics have embraced social media sites, sharing personal information and photos. However, many people do not realize that social media postings can be used in civil cases involving workers' compensation
claims as evidence.
False sense of security
Many people believe that what they post on their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is private information that will not be seen by people other than their online contacts. However, in spite of the security settings that social media sites provide, insurance companies are using social media sites to mine information when an employee is injured, according to Business Insurance. For example, one company in California denied a worker's claim that he had injured his arm after he was seen performing with his band; the insurance company had seen an advertisement for the man's concert on a social media site.
According to the American Bar Association, social media can be introduced as evidence without having to provide additional scientific explanation that authenticates the post or the pictures being presented. All an insurance company has to do is show that the evidence is relevant to the case. Therefore, if a person was injured at work and has filed a workers' compensation claim
, the insurance company will likely be checking for anything on social media sites that could be used against that worker.
Protecting oneself on social media
When an employee is injured at work, it is important for them to understand that they need to be careful what they post on their social media sites. Social media sites often tag photos with the date that they are posted so if someone is putting up pictures of a family trip that occurred before they injured their arm or leg, they should make it clear that the pictures are from an earlier time.
In addition, injured employees should also follow the following tips:
-Don't talk about the workers' compensation claim online.
-Talk to friends and family to make sure that they do not post something insurance companies can use.
-Don't accept friend requests from unknown persons - sometimes these are insurance investigators trying to find evidence.
-Make sure that all security settings are properly set.
-Discuss the work injury and talk about how it has affected lifestyle and quality of life.
By being honest and avoiding posting anything that can be misinterpreted, employees can strengthen their claims for compensation. It is also a good idea for an employee who has been injured at work to consult with an experienced attorney for additional advice.
Article provided by Alvey Law Group
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