When a person misses work for a prolonged period of time due to a Vermont work injury, the insurance company and sometimes the employer may begin getting suspicious that the injured worker is milking their injury or is not as hurt as they claim. When that happens, they often hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance — meaning someone will wait outside your home to videotape you in your yard, your car, and wherever you go. The private investigator will often do an internet search to find anything you (or someone you know) has posted on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. If they find you doing or saying something relating to your injury, your claim, or your employment, they may try to use that against you in your workers’ compensation claim.
From a social media perspective, the safest way to avoid jeopardizing your Vermont workers’ comp claim is to delete (or deactivate) your social media accounts until your claim is complete. If you are unwilling to “cut the cord” and want to continue using things like Facebook, it is very important to (1) make your account as private as possible, and (2) avoid posting anything relating to your activities, your injury, your claim, and your employer.
Even when you make your account private, it can be difficult to keep track of what the public can see. New posts may become public without you knowing. In addition, coworkers you are “friends” with could share posts with your employer, or your employer may access your coworkers’ work computers to spy on your Facebook posts. Posting anything on social media, even if you think it’s private and even if you trust your “friends,” can be dangerous to your Vermont workers’ comp claim.
Again, the best solution is to deactivate your account completely. That will prevent others from posting “how great it was to see you at that dance the other night,” or that candid photo of you enjoying a BBQ with your family. Even harmless photos can be twisted by workers’ comp insurance adjusters and attorneys to make it seem like you aren’t as injured as you seem. It is best not to give them the opportunity! If you don’t deactivate your account, be very, very careful about the content of photographs or messages that you or someone else posts.