How Social Media Can Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Missouri
Being injured on the job can be an emotional and nerve racking experience, and as such, you may take to social media to share the details of your injury--and of your recovery--with your friends and family; after all, we live in a digital and highly connected world, and the use of social media is more ubiquitous than ever before.Indeed, even if you don’t share the details of your injury online, it’s not unlikely that over the course of the weeks or months when you are recovering from your injury (and your workers’ compensation claim is being processed), something may be posted by you or someone else, be it a status update, a location check in, or a photo. While this may seem completely normal and harmless to you, using social media after a workplace injury can actually negatively affect your claim. Here’s what you need to know:
Workplace Compensation Investigations and Social Media
With concerns of workplace fraud on the rise and the ever-present insurance company that wants to save as much money as possible, workers’ compensation investigations are becoming the norm. A workers’ compensation investigation is the investigation of a workers’ compensation claimant, made by an insurance adjuster, to determine whether or not the worker’s injuries are legitimate and should be compensated by the insurer as such. And surveillance isn’t the only method of observation; an article in CLAIMS JOURNAL highlights that investigators are using social media sites to document activities of the injured party.
Social Media Activity that Could Hurt Your Claim
Given the information above, being careful about what you post on social media is essential. If your injuries are indeed very legitimate, you may be unconcerned. However, even seemingly innocuous social media activity could hurt your claim. Consider the following potential social media situations:
- A friend posts an old photo of you two running a race together. The photo isn’t dated, and would appear, out of context, to be recent.
- You post a location check-in showing that you’re at the bowling lanes, your favorite restaurant, the pool, or other fun locations.
- You post a status update or write a post detailing your recovery, in which you talk about how happy you are with the recovery and your physical and emotional progress.
All of these things may seem like they wouldn’t affect your claim, but to an insurance adjuster's eyes you are providing evidence that your injuries are not as physically (or perhaps psychologically) limiting as you have claimed, and because you are out doing things, you must be ready to return to work.
Be Smart About Online Activity and Work with an Attorney
If you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim in Joplin, Springfield, or surrounding areas, it’s important to be smart about online activity. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at the law firm of The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton recommend that you suspend social media activity during the claims process, and ensure that accounts are set to private. We also encourage you to call our law offices for legal counsel you can count on, especially if your claim has been denied. To learn more, contact our offices for a free consultation.