A few months ago I spoke to Bridget, a part time college student and full time certified nursing assistant. While helping move a patient at work, Bridget suffered a low back spinal disc injury. She immediately reported the work injury to her supervisor and sought medical treatment with her family doctor. The insurance company opened a claim and assigned an adjuster. Soon after the injury, the adjuster called Bridget and told her that they were denying the claim. Bridget found out the the adjuster had spent some some on Bridget’s Facebook page. The adjuster saw on Bridget’s page a photo taken a couple days after the accident. Despite ongoing back pain, Bridget went to a birthday party with her boyfriend. Someone took some pictures of her and her boyfriend. Bridget then posted the photos on her Facebook page. After seeing the photos, the adjuster told Bridget that there was no way she could have been hurt because she was smiling. Claim denied because of a smile. Our office represented her and immediately filed suit. During litigation, Bridget’s injury turned out to be serious and required a low back surgery to repair a damaged spinal disc. Just before trial, and with mounting evidence against this denial, the insurance company apparently realized this was not the best defense of the injury claim. Our office obtained the proper workers’ compensation benefits.
Sound absurd? Well it is absurd. But the fact of the matter is insurance company are stalking the injured through Facebook and other social media in an attempt to deny or devalue personal injury claims or workers’ compensation claims. Now Facebook, Twitter and other social media have opened the door for more “investigation.” No matter how absurd the reasoning.
If you post on Facebook you should be very careful what you post. Never discuss a work injury or auto accident on Facebook of other media. Also avoid discussing your medical condition. Insurance companies save these posts, so they can be preserved and used against you in the future. They can even be read to a jury.
If you have any questions, you should call an injury attorney to discuss the particulars of your case. At Putnam law there is no obligation or fee for an initial consultation. Call or email today.