When you are a teenager, you think, “When I’m older, I’ll understand teens and get what they are doing.” Sadly that is not the case, and I’ve been told by my own kids that I don’t understand. That’s OK, it’s part of being older and a parent.
One thing I certainly don’t get is the obsession with social media. I have a Twitter account to check news and follow some comedians and soccer commentators, but I never post. I don’t use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. I don’t begrudge those who do, but don’t get the obsession of always posting or when I see kids staging so many photos of their “happy” lives. I’ve never told my kids not to post, just to be smart about what they are posting.
Clients aren’t my kids, but I’m tougher on them than I would be my own children. My strongest advice is that if you have an active Illinois workers compensation claim, you should never post and also make sure that all of your accounts are private.
One of the first things an insurance company or defense attorney will do is check and monitor your social media. If you are discussing your case in any way, you are potentially creating evidence that can be used against you. You might want to take a picture of yourself at the hospital and post it on Facebook for all your friends to see, but that would be a terrible idea. Even if you put something simple like “Ankle surgery after getting hit by a forklift on the job” that could come back to bite you. I say that because you never know if a friend will write something in the comments like, “Didn’t you hurt your ankle a month ago too?” They might not mean anything bad, but that simple comment would cause your benefits to get denied.
Even when you think that you aren’t posting something about your case, posting is a bad idea. If you have carpal tunnel or a neck or arm injury, you should be limiting your use of your hands in many cases. Posting a lot opens you up to questions on cross examination at trial and could also be used against you in a deposition of a doctor about your injury.
The other thing to beware of is friends who tag you in photos. Ask them to remove those if it happens. We’ve seen cases where insurance companies have cut off benefits because they felt that with a significant injury the worker shouldn’t be engaged in social activities. That might not be a winning argument at trial, but if it causes them to delay your care or pay then it will hurt you.
A final reason not to post is you never know if you have an enemy or jealous person in your life. There have been cases where people don’t understand the law and think if you are claiming an injury that you are pulling some sort of scam. Don’t give these losers ammunition to try and torpedo your life. You don’t need some “friend” from high school to know that 30 years later you have a back injury.
The bottom line is that you don’t want to ever mention your work comp case to anyone and certainly not online where it will remain forever. I’m sure that can be tough if you are used to posting all the time, but I promise you that there is no other smart lawyer who would tell you something different. It’s truly in your best interests to keep a low profile.