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Will Using Facebook Undermine My Fibromyalgia Compensation Claim?

Dear Brian

I was involved in a road traffic accident. I suffered a severe whiplash injury which then developed into Fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia has severely limited my ability to function. I have had to give up work and I struggle with household chores. Often, I stay home all day.

The Defendants’ Solicitors have recently obtained hundreds of pages printed from my Facebook account which seem to show that I am up at all hours of the day and night, using my computer. The Defendants are alleging that if I can use my computer, I must be exaggerating the severity of my fibromyalgia and that I am capable of at least office-based work.

I think that the Defendants have completely misunderstood the Facebook material but I do not know what to do. Can you help me?

Barry

 

Dear Barry

Unfortunately, in our experience, insurers and their solicitors are often sceptical about Fibromyalgia claims and will do everything in their power to undermine the credibility of a Claimant. This includes obtaining DVD surveillance and material from a Facebook ‘Wall’.

It is important that your solicitor understands the nature of your Facebook use and that you produce a detailed witness statement commenting on the Facebook material. For example: it may be that entries on your Facebook ‘Wall’ were created by your Facebook friends rather than directly by you. Many of the Facebook games are easy to play and require little concentration. It may also be that you are only able to use the computer in short ‘chunks’ of time and then need to rest.

As a side point, you can also change your Facebook privacy settings from ‘public’ to ‘private’ so that the information is not freely available and to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.

Brian

This article appeared previously in Fibromyalgia magazine

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.

 

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