Justin S. Eppler
Social Media Use and Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Suffering an injury at work can be devastating. Whether you sustained an injury out on a fishing boat on Alaskan waters, at a construction site in Anchorage or more, you may feel unsure of where to go from here. Most importantly, you may worry about how to make ends meet while you recover.
Most employers across Alaska provide injured employees with access to workers’ compensation. After suffering an injury, it is critical to report your injury as soon as possible and file a claim to gain access to the compensation you need. However, the process to pursue financial relief can become complicated, especially when social media is involved.
How Social Media Can Affect Legal Matters
Social media can negatively affect any sort of legal matter. Because your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will investigate your claim, including both your accident and injuries, your actions after the accident may be somewhat scrutinized. Anything posted to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts or more that contradict either your accident or injury may come back to hurt your claim.
How Should You Proceed on Social Media?
Workers’ comp coverage can provide you with a portion of your income while you recover, as well as benefits, employment or job-training assistance and more. If you suffered a serious fall from a construction site or broken bones from a fishing accident, posting photos of you at the gym or even your family on vacation can be quickly misconstrued.
Some considerations to keep in mind according to Forbes include:
- Think twice before you post. Before you share a photo, link or more, think about if you would feel comfortable with your employer or employer’s insurer seeing it.
- Revisit your privacy settings. Strengthen the privacy settings on all your accounts and consider how secure your internet connection is to guard against snooping.
- Exercise caution when clicking on links. Be careful when clicking on any links to guard against hackers and refrain from responding to or engaging with strangers online.
- Delete or deactivate your profiles early on. While staying away from social media during this time is often wise, deleting your profiles at the wrong time can look suspicious.
Courts typically allow the use of publicly-shared social media activity as evidence. As workers’ comp provides such critical benefits to injured workers, keep these considerations in mind and exercise caution online in general throughout the process to gain access to these benefits.