As some people in California know, what you put out on social media could cause problems if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Insurers will be on the lookout for anything they can use to justify giving you only a partial settlement or even denying your claim outright. To help prevent an insurer from using your own social media against you, here are some things to watch out for.
Naturally, you should be careful what you say about your workplace injury on your social media platforms. Anything you say could be picked up and used against you. Even if you just want to vent about what happened or perhaps even poke a little fun at your situation, you never know how an insurer can present your comments. You might decide later to delete your posts, but remember that other parties can screencap your posts if they do it before you erase your comments.
In general, if your social media is not set to a private setting, you are open to just about anyone viewing your photos, posts and videos, including the insurance company. If you only want friends, family and followers to view your content, you should set your media to those settings. However, Next Advisor warns that your friends might tag you as part of a photo post, and a post with tags can bypass your privacy settings.
Geolocation features may also cause trouble with an insurer. Just about every social media site from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram features geolocation, which can be utilized to determine where you are when you post. However, an insurer might see your geolocation and make incorrect assumptions. If you are seriously hurt and cannot walk or drive, the insurer might find it suspicious how frequently you are leaving your home. Turning off geolocation can help prevent an insurer from drawing the wrong conclusions.
Another problem is that someone might see one of your photos out of context. According to Forbes, some people can post a picture of themselves smoking or engaging in an otherwise unhealthy activity that they have since given up. However, an insurer might not know this and presume the photo represents your current state of living. This can be a particular problem if you repost a picture as part of a “Throwback Thursday” remembrance, or if Facebook posts an old photo under its “Memories” function.
Ultimately, it is best to restrict what you say online about your compensation claim until it is fully processed. By keeping your social media posts private and limiting what you say about your injury, you can keep an insurer from unfairly using your own posts and words against you.