In 2013, Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation reported that it paid over $2.9 billion dollars in workers’ compensation benefits, including payments for indemnity and medical services. Each year this figure increases. In an effort to keep claimants from receiving benefits they are not entitled to, insurance companies have turned to uncovering information from every nook and cranny possible. In many instances, social media has turned up a treasure trove of information. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are all outlets in which people tend to post enough information to get themselves in trouble. And if you think that no one is watching what you post on your social network, think again.
Social Media Evidence
Evidence found on social media can impact a workers’ compensation claim because it can prove that the claimant’s injury does not keep them from working because the injury suffered is no longer present or is not as severe as previously stated, the claimant has turned down other available employment, or the injury was actually sustained outside of his employment and is not covered by workers’ compensation.
Once this evidence is uncovered, it is not something that can be erased. And, it can definitely be used in any legal proceeding if it is relevant. So if you are injured and in the midst of a workers’ compensation claim, think twice before you decide to publish your next post on your social network. Before you publish, you should think about these best practices:
- ENSURE PRIVACY – Do not accept any friend requests from people you do not know and set your accounts to private so only those you know can view your information.
- SECOND GUESS YOUR POSTS – Before publishing anything on your social network, you should think about how it could affect your claim. Think twice about posting photos from your most recent hike with your friends or last week’s baseball game with your local league.
- BE CAREFUL WHO POSTS INFORMATION ABOUT YOU – While you are going through the workers’ compensation claim process, it is important to talk to your friends and family about posting information about you on their social networks. Information obtained on social media from your spouse, child, sibling, or friends about your day-to-day activities could seriously damage your chance of being eligible for benefits.
Contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Now
Workers’ compensation adjusters and investigators are shying away from surveilling claimants in real life and have turned to social media to find discrediting evidence. The best way that you can protect yourself from falling into this trap is to be honest with your doctor about your injury, refrain from using social media while going through the claims process, and seek help from a workers’ compensation attorney who is experienced in working with insurance companies.