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Social media and workers’ comp cases

| Mar 2, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers’ compensation cases can be tricky. After an accident, it’s stressful enough worrying about injuries, medical bills, financial stress, and more. You don’t have time to analyze every little thing you do, but insurance adjusters will look for any reason to deny you compensation.

On top of all of your other worries, you need to be cautious about your online activity. Insurance adjusters will look at your social media profiles. Even if you are genuinely injured, the wrong image could destroy your entire case. If you have an open workers’ compensation case, you need to think twice before posting that cute vacation picture on your Instagram.

Your social media can seriously impact your workers’ compensation claim. Anything you post publicly can be held against you. Your posts will be scrutinized for the time they were posted, the date they were posted, and what you are doing in the picture or video.

How can social media hurt my workers’ comp case?

You could have an excellent workers’ compensation case, with proof of medical care and witness testimonies. Still, if you post the wrong photo online, insinuating you are lying or that your injuries aren’t severe, it could damage your case. You could be denied workers’ comp benefits.

For example, say your arm is severely injured. You attend a birthday party at a bowling alley, but you don’t participate in the activity. You just socialize and take a few pictures. Despite not bowling because you are injured, the image presents a different story to your employer and the insurance adjuster.

If they see the photo, that gives them a reason to suspect your claim is false, leading to a possible denial of your claim. You know you are genuinely injured, but they want to find a reason not to pay you what you deserve. They will use the photo against you without hesitation to accuse you of workers’ compensation fraud.

What is workers’ comp fraud?

When someone lies about a work-related injury to benefit financially, it’s called workers’ comp fraud. Employers, employees, or even health care providers can commit workers’ comp fraud.

Workers’ compensation fraud includes:

  • Making up injury or illness
  • Exaggerating injury or illness
  • Claiming a non-work-related injury or illness

If a claim is fraudulent, there will be penalties, ranging from fines to serving jail time, depending on the case. While workers’ comp fraud does happen, only 1-2% of claims are fraudulent.

Still, insurance adjusters are always looking out for workers’ comp fraud or a reason to deny your claim. Never give them a reason to doubt your claim by posting the wrong thing on social media.

Social media tips for injured workers

We want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It may be tempting, but we don’t recommend posting anything new on social media during an open workers’ comp claim. Stick to texting and calling to update your friends on your life.

Here are some more tips for using your social media when you have an open workers’ comp claim:

  1. Make your profiles private. On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can choose to make your profile private, so only the followers you choose can see your social media content. While it does give you more privacy, insurance agents, employers, and lawyers have sneaky ways of seeing people’s content.
  2. Don’t accept follow requests during your claim. During your case, the people listed above may try and find alternative ways to view your profile if it is private. The best way to avoid accidental viewings is to simply not accept any follow requests until after your workers’ comp case is over.
  3. Ask friends and family not to tag you in anything. Even if you aren’t posting during your workers’ comp claim, your friends might, causing a picture or video of you to pop up on your profile. Nicely request that no one tags you in anything on social media for the duration of your case.
  4. Don’t post about your accident. It’s tempting to use your social media to let friends know what you are going through, but we recommend that you resist it. If you post information or photos about your work-related injury, insurers could use it against you.
  5. Don’t post about vacations you are taking. If you plan on traveling at all during your injury, don’t post about it. The insurers will try and say you can’t be injured if you can go on vacation instead of staying at home recovering.
  6. Don’t post about other jobs you have. If you work a second job, don’t post about it during your claim. Insurers will claim your other job is why you haven’t recovered fully or that you got hurt under that employer instead.
  7. Don’t post any sort of physical activity. Anything that isn’t related to physical therapy for your injury should remain private. Don’t post any walks, runs, or workouts you do, even if they are unrelated to the area of your injury.
  8. Don’t talk bad about your employer or the insurance company. This one seems obvious but never post about your employer or the insurance company on social media. We know it’s tempting to vent about your frustrating situation, but it will only come back to harm you in the long run.

Contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney

Are you struggling with your workers’ comp case? It’s common to feel lost and frustrated after your work injury. Social media can provide support, but you need to be careful using it as an outlet for your stress. There are other ways you can get the guidance you need.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide you the support and advice you need, as well as advise you on social media and other behaviors you should monitor during your case. The attorneys at The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller have extensive experience with workers’ comp cases in the Atlanta area, and we would be happy to help you with your claim.

We will walk beside you every step of the way. You don’t have to deal with your workers’ comp case alone. Your first consultation is free. Contact us now to get started on your case.