For many people in New Jersey, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are part of their daily routine. These sites enable people to post photos and messages about their activities, but they can also be used to deny a workers’ compensation claim.
For example, one woman posted videos of herself competing at a beauty pageant on YouTube, according to Insurance Journal. However, at the same time, she was collecting workers’ compensation for an injury to her foot. She claimed that she was unable to wear a shoe on that foot, move it or place any weight on it. The videos though, show her walking in high heels without any problem. Consequently, she charged with committing fraud.
It is important for people to understand that courts are accepting social media postings as a form of evidence in these types of cases. One man found this out when he appealed to his state’s appeals court, ABC News states. The appeals court was asked to review the case after pictures from the man’s Facebook account were presented to the workers’ compensation commission that showed him drinking and having a good time. The man, who had been injured when a refrigerator fell on him, was asking the commission for additional benefits for the pain he was suffering and medical care. The court ruled that the pictures were admissible and upheld the decision of the other court.
The increasing use of social media in courts means that people need to be extremely careful about what they post if they have been injured in a workplace accident. Photos should be accompanied with a date to show they were taken prior to the injury. Additionally, people should check their security settings as it is not uncommon for investigators to befriend injured workers to access their social media information.