How Social Media Can Affect Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case

Using social media during a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case could negatively impact your benefits. What you believe is private information could be used against you to deny or dispute your claim. The best way to avoid problems is to stop using social media until you can discuss your case with an experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer.

How Can Social Media Impact Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

It is not entirely private when you post information on social media websites. You might set your profile to private, but your friends and family members might post information or share your posts and pictures. The workers’ compensation insurance company can view anything public, including location check-ins and public photos or videos.

Insurance companies search for ways to deny claims. For example, suppose the company discovers evidence that you were attending events or participating in activities while you were supposed to be too injured to work. Then, the insurance company might use the social media posts to deny your workers’ compensation claim.

The court could grant limited access to your social media accounts if the insurance company provides compelling evidence that the information on the account is relevant to your workers’ compensation case. However, even if the insurance company does not have a court order granting access, anything posted online could potentially become public information. 

What Is the Insurance Company Looking for on Your Social Media Websites?

When you are injured at work, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws provide benefits to help you until you recover from your injuries. Workers’ comp benefits include medical treatment and lost wage benefits. 

If you cannot work because of your injury, you can receive wage replacement benefits. These benefits equal roughly 2/3 of your average weekly wages. However, your doctor must state that you cannot work because of your injuries.

The insurance company and your employer might search for social media posts that contradict your claims of a work injury. They look for posts inconsistent with your statements regarding the severity of your injury and the tasks you can and cannot perform.

For example, you post a picture of you at a bowling alley. However, you claim you cannot work because a back injury prevents you from bending. Yet, there are pictures of you bowling.

But what if you are only sitting at the bowling alley? Maybe you were there for your niece’s birthday party and did not bowl. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove you were not bowling.

The insurance company also searches for statements in posts. For example, suppose a friend asks how you are feeling. 

Because you are not a complainer, you respond that you are feeling fine. However, the company might point to your statement because it contradicts the statement to your doctor that you are in constant pain. 

What Should You Do To Ensure Your Privacy?

Set your social media posts to the highest level of privacy. Do not accept requests from parties that you do not know personally. Also, be careful about granting access to third parties, such as retailers, games, and groups. 

Do not post anything online about your workers’ compensation claim, your injuries, or your benefits. You should not discuss any information related to your work-related injury. 

Also, do not respond to online questions from friends and family members about your condition. Instead, call them on the telephone to discuss how your recovery is progressing. 

Additionally, do not post information online about your daily activities or where you go. Avoid posting pictures of yourself online while your workers’ compensation case is pending. 

This advice may sound extreme. However, an innocent statement or picture posted to social media could be intentionally misinterpreted by the workers’ compensation insurance company and your employer. They might use the information to claim you are healed and should return to work or that you have been “faking” your work injury.

You also do not want to post to blogs, discussion boards, insurance websites, message boards, and other websites. If you are unsure whether information and material could hurt your workers’ comp case, do not post it. Instead, talk with a Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney about the dangers of using social media after a work injury.

You Also Need To Be Careful With Emails During a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case

In addition to being cautious about social media during a workers’ comp case, you must also be careful about what you write in an email. You should not write anything about your injury or workers’ comp case in an email to anyone except your workers’ compensation lawyers. 

Also, do not forward emails from your attorney’s office to any other party. Forwarding the email could result in waiving confidentiality under the attorney-client privilege

If you’ve been injured in a workers’ compensation, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963