When an injured employee is directed to take some time off work because of a work-related injury, it may seem like there's nothing to do at home but browse and post updates on social media. People have become so used to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that they post about almost everything happening in their lives. While an employee with a genuine injury needs not to feel scared or fearful that their social media posts might affect their workers' compensation claim, restraint is advised in terms what they decide to post. Read on for more insight.
Burden of proof
Bear in mind that the injured employee remains under obligation to demonstrate to their employer that the sustained injuries are incapacitating. After filing your workers' compensation claim with the help of a workers' compensation attorney, your claim is subject to careful scrutiny by both your employer and insurer. Specific posts on social networking sites by an injured employee may disprove the claim that they suffered injuries at the workplace. For example, an employee who has been asked to take some time off work to recuperate following an injury due to heavy lifting, may have the authenticity of their claim contested and benefits disclaimed if a photo of them is seen on social media taking part in rigorous physical activity in the course of the recuperating period.
Your workers' compensation attorney will advise you to refrain from posting any of the following posts when you are involved in a workers' compensation claim.
- Don't post any photos about you engaging in sporting activities or doing gym exercised unless they are linked to physical rehabilitation for your injury.
- Don't post photos or updates about your vacation holidays when you're supposed to be recuperating.
- Don't post updates about other jobs you may be working on.
- Don't post photos showing you carrying heavy objects not allowed for anybody with your injury.
Social media as admissible evidence
It may appear as though social media shouldn't be considered permissible evidence for legal claims. However, this is not the case. According to the courts, evidence collected through social media is similar to evidence collected through any other means. Even though the court will take into account the relevance of this proof to the case as well as the particulars of its collection, the point that it was collected through social media doesn't violate its legal viability.
After a work-related injury, social media may be a valuable tool for staying in touch with friends and family while undergoing the difficult recovery period. If you wish to use social media, first consult with your workers' compensation attorney to avoid any shortcomings with your workers' compensation claim.