If You Are on PA Workers’ Compensation or Have a Claim: Beware of Social Media

If you post to a social networking account such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., Please Keep In Mind That Whatever You Post Is Not Private And May Be Subject To Discovery By The Defendants (i.e., your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier) In Your Case. Internet and social media security and discretion is important to you regardless of whether you are on workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.

Be careful what you write or post, or have written or posted, can fall into the hands of the defendant, its insurance company, and its attorneys for the purpose of unfairly attacking the validity of your claim. It is standard practice for defendants, insurance companies and their attorneys to obtain information social media sites and use it before Judge’s and to show to doctors, including the injured workers’ doctor and the IME doctor. This information it is obtained without your knowledge or permission. If you have a social media site you should make sure that all your settings are on PRIVATE (the highest setting possible). Even with the highest privacy settings you should write or post items with the assumption that it is open to the public.

We urge you to do the following:

  1. Apply the highest privacy settings.
  2. Be very selective about who you “friend” or link with. Do not allow anyone to become a “friend” on an account unless you are absolutely sure you know that person.
  3. Refrain from using social media sites as much as possible while your case is pending.
  4. Do not post anything about your case, do not answer questions about the facts or how you are feeling.
  5. Do not post anything about meetings with your lawyers or staff members. This can result in a challenge to the attorney client privilege.
  6. Be very discrete about any photos that you post: Photographs showing physical activity appearing inconsistent with your claimed disability can be fatal to your case. Do not post photos that show drinking or other activities that the defendant, its insurance company or their attorneys may try to use to paint you in an unfavorable light to a the workers’ compensation judge.
  7. Think about what you post: We have found that have made post that do not actually reflect what they are doing, but rather what they believe sounds good. This “posed” posting can be very damaging to your claim. Do not post anything about your social life that involves drinking or other activities that the defendant, its insurance company or their attorneys may try to use to paint you in an unfavorable light to the judge.
  8. Do not send any e-mails regarding your case to anyone except your attorneys.
  9. Do not forward any e-mails from our office to anyone else. Forwarding our e-mails or sharing our communications of any kind can result in waiver of the attorney client privilege.
  10. Do not visit insurance websites; participate in blogs, chat-rooms, or message boards.

We have seen an increase in electronic surveillance by the insurance companies,  and defense attorneys for purposes of embarrassing and humiliating injured workers, and for the purpose of claiming that your injury was exaggerated. You should assume that the defendant, its insurance company, and its attorneys look for posts that might paint an unflattering picture of you. Professional pages like LinkedIn.com may have information about earning capacity used to modify your weekly compensation benefit rate.

You should review the contents of your social network sites and that you review your “friends” or “connections” and keep only those that you know and trust.

The law firm of Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., represents injured workers Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C.
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110