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Social Media's Impact On My Vermont Workers' Compensation Case

Social media has become an inescapable part of modern life. What many forget, though, is that what you do online can actually follow you into the real world. If you are dealing with a workers' compensation claim, for example, you'll need to know how your posts and pictures could impact your case. The impact of your online activity might be far greater than most people imagine.

Creating a Record

It's very important to remember that things that go on the internet have a tendency to stick around. If you post something that makes it look like you're not as hurt as you claim, you can almost certainly ensure that your employer or the employer's insurance company will be able to find that information and use it against you in your attempt to get compensation. Social media must be handled with extreme care even in those cases where the facts are clearly on your side.

In case after case at BFS, we have seen insurance adjusters, employers, and defense attorneys do the following:

  • Follow clients online
  • Request copies of a client’s e-mails, texts, and phone records
  • Read a client’s social media posts
  • Look at a client’s online photos and videos
  • Use all of the above to deny or discredit a client’s claim.

Telling a Story

Social media isn't just about the facts—It's about the story that those facts may or may not tell. Taking the time to use social media when you are in pain or when you should be at a medical appointment can be used to create a story that you are not focused on your recovery.

Likewise, if you use social media to show yourself having a good time or enjoying your time out of work, this can be used against you in your case.

How to Handle Social Media

The best way to deal with your social media accounts during a workers' compensation dispute is to consult with a Vermont workers' compensation attorney before you start posting anything at all. Talk to your lawyer and figure out whether or not posting online has a chance of impacting your case and whether the items you want to post could end up telling a story that can hurt your chances to get the compensation that you deserve.

At BFS, we always tell our clients to use social media with caution. Showing yourself snowmobiling, running, fishing, playing golf, riding a bike, or even dancing at a wedding can undermine your case, if it’s taken out of context. Make sure that any activities you do are appropriate for your injury. You don’t have to miss out on life’s events and you don’t have to stop using social media. But it is very important that you follow your doctor’s medical instructions and your attorney’s legal advice while doing any activity that could end up online.

When you need help returning to your life following a workplace injury, don't try to do it all on your own— Contact Biggam Fox Skinner LLP today at (802) 375-7603 for the representation you deserve.

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