When you are injured on the job and must file a workers’ compensation claim, you have worries about your health and how to pay for your medical treatments and monthly expenses without a weekly pay check. You will need to obtain what you deserve in a workers’ compensation settlement to help you get back on your feet. You do not want to make mistakes in your case that can weaken your claim. One thing you may do on a regular basis that could hurt your workers’ comp case is posting on social media sites.
What Social Media Sites Could Be Harmful to a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
People use a variety of social media sites on a daily basis. While sharing on these sites is fine most of the time, it is something you want to avoid while you are fighting for workers’ compensation benefits. Social media sites that could be harmful include:
- Google +
- Dating sites
How Social Media Postings Can Hurt Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
As part of their efforts to deny or reduce your workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company and their attorney could search your social media sites at various times during their investigation and during your court proceedings. They are looking for information that can hurt your claim. It may seem incomprehensible that your daily sharing of your life with family and friends could impact your claim, but it could. Ways posting on social media can hurt your case include:
Talking about the accident or your injuries.
Your comments about the accident or your injuries could be used by the insurance company to argue that the accident did not cause your accident or that you are not as injured as you claim. Even a simple statement, such as “I’m feeling better today” could be used to argue that you are healing faster than you allege.
Pictures of you doing activities that you should not be able to do given your injuries can raise serious issues about their severity. Even pictures of you at a certain location, like a swimming pool, can fuel disputes about your injuries no matter how innocent your visit to this place was.
Like pictures, location information can show you at a place that you should not go to given your injuries that gives the insurance company ammunition to argue about your claim.
Friends and family postings.
You also need to be careful what friends and family say about your accident and injuries on social media as the adjuster or attorney could search these sites as well. If you are tagged in a picture by a family member or friend, it could show you at a questionable location even if you are there for a legitimate reason, such as a child’s birthday party.
Some insurance adjusters and agents will try to “friend” you on your social media sites in an effort to more easily search for damaging posts. You need to be wary of any friend requests from people you do not know while your claim is pending.
Ways You Can Protect Yourself on Social Media Sites While Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Being Resolved
Ideally, you should stay off social media while your workers’ compensation claim is pending. However, this may not be practical. Here are ways that you can protect yourself when on your social media sites:
- Avoiding posting about being on vacation when you are off work recovering from your injuries.
- Do not post anything about going to a gym, participating in sports, or doing exercises other than physical therapy.
- Do not post anything that shows you lifting objects or engaging in any other activities that you should not be able to do.
- Do not discuss the accident, your injuries, or your medical treatment.
- Do not let your friends post pictures of you, discuss your accident or injuries, or tag you while your claim is pending.
- Increase your privacy settings to limit who receives information about you.
- Be careful who you accept friend requests from and only accept requests from people you know.
You should also be aware of the fact that the insurance company or attorney could hire a private investigator to engage in surveillance. Be vigilant at all times and follow your doctor’s advice on medical treatments while your claim is pending.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.