Workers' Comp and FacebookPaul McAndrew is a lawyer with an office in Coralville. His firm posted a blog piece titled, Why Injured Workers Should Deactivate Their Social Media Accounts, [posted on October 18, 2012] by Nathan Reckman. My clients should read this article. I agree with Nathan’s assessment. Things you say and post on a Facebook page aren’t made in a legal setting or while you’re under oath, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used against you in a court of law. [Admission Against Interest] Statements posted on Facebook that can be considered contrary to your claim can be used at the hearing to create doubt about whether or not you are disabled as claimed. People say FB isn’t real and that I agree with; it’s not the real world, but your words are your words and that’s the real part; and even though not accurate you’re left with sitting on the stand under oath having to explain to a doubtful audience about in what context they were meant to be understood. Because you’re not a lawyer and used to the litigation environment you’ll sit there while under oath blathering out some explanation that sounds hollow.

Now you might think your lawyer will take care of the mess and warn you; but guess again. If you think I have time to read every FB post of every client in my office you’re wrong. I don’t have time to read what my wife and kids post. My advice is to stop posting personal information during the pendency of your case; either that or just take it down. If your case is really important to you, then take it down.

And if you think you can outsmart the defense lawyers, think again. These lawyers earn their living turning nothing into sounding like something. They can take the most obscure posting into a HUGE admission against interest. What you think means nothing, can have consequences far beyond your wildest imagination.

The easiest way to avoid this potentially embarrassing and damaging situation is to just take down your social media accounts or to stop posting after you’re injured and/or before your claim is filed with the Iowa Industrial Commission. If you have questions call us, we’d rather you asked and got sound advice than did something really dumb. Steve Lombardi, 515-222-1110 or [email protected]. Lombardi Law Firm, 1300 – 37th Street, Suite 6, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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