Social media and injured workers

Social media and injured workers

With mobile phones now equipped with camera and internet access, social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and many others make it quick and easy share life experiences with friends and relatives all over the world. Whilst some people exercise restraint, others choose to disclose in-depth details about their interests and activities.

As an injured worker with a WorkCover claim, it is critical to carefully consider what you disclose on the internet. What you post on social media may seriously jeopardise your claim(s) of compensation.

Insurance companies and/or employers have long used social media to investigate workers' compensation claims, and discredit the testimony of an injured worker. This can be an effective surveillance tool because most people generally post a brighter side of their lives. Very rarely, people post that they are in pain.

In cases where someone is psychiatrically injured, observations made by insurers and/or Courts about the contents of their social media presence can be of limited value. Common sense tells us that it is hard to tell what is really going on in someone's life from the manner in which they present it. That said, it is a reality of WorkCover litigation.

Separately however, concerns have been raised about the impact that the reliance of insurers on such tactics are having on people's psychiatric health. Often the making of assumptions as to the meaning of content and the perception of invasion of privacy could detrimentally impact on the psychiatric well being of an injured worker.

If you must use social media sites, make sure you set your profile up with the highest privacy settings. Most importantly, be honest and aware that the contents of your social media page may be used in any future WorkCover proceedings.

If you have any concerns about social media and WorkCover claims, please contact Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988. We are happy to discuss.

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