As more and more people are using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, concerns are arising as to how the use of those sites could impact a workers’ compensation claim. Courts in other jurisdictions have already held that employers can obtain Facebook and twitter user names and passwords in the discovery process, and employers are using that information to undermine compensation claims. Therefore, it is advisable for any worker involved in a workers’ compensation claim or any other type of litigation to avoid social networking sites.
Some attorneys advise their clients that they need only adjust the privacy settings on their Facebook accounts so that only their “friends” can view their profiles and posts. However, that does not address the issue of other Facebook members posting photographs, videos, and status updates about you and then “tagging” you in those posts. Employers can later use those photographs, videos, or status updates to undermine your workers compensation claim by spinning it into an argument that an injury is not as bad as you claim. Therefore, the most prudent course of action is to delete your Facebook or twitter account entirely and to avoid social networking while your claim is pending.
Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury or has been involved in any accident should contact the New Jersey personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers at Mintz & Geftic for a consutlation.