Workers Compensation and Social Networking

Though workers’ compensation laws vary from State to State, there are some elements which remain fairly constant. Workers’ compensation laws are generally “no fault” statutes (no need for an injured worker to demonstrate negligence), and they generally exclude the recovery of “pain and suffering.” Workers’ compensation systems also are usually streamlined (as compared to general civil litigation) and procedures are often more relaxed than in ordinary State Court systems.

Therefore, trends, developments and concerns in workers’ compensation systems can frequently be addressed at a level relevant to every State in the Country. Recently, we were contacted by Gregory M. Duhl, Associate Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, regarding an article he co-authored with Jaclyn Milner, an attorney in Minnesota. Since the article deals with the impact of social networking sites on workers’ compensation cases in general, it certainly appears to be of interest to injured workers in Pennsylvania, as well as every other State in the Country.

The full article can be found at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1675026 . I encourage all injured workers, and workers’ compensation attorneys, to read the article carefully. Our society is becoming more and more technologically advanced, and many injured workers, and perhaps even their attorneys, do not realize how social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, can impact a workers’ compensation case. As the article notes, both the information within social networking sites themselves, as well as the “guidance” for when and where future surveillance may be productive, these sites can be an enormous liability to a workers’ compensation case.