How Social Media Can Affect Your Workers’ Comp Case
The internet age has shifted our cultural mindset. People are used to sharing their daily lives, including intimate details, with friends, family, and strangers online. If you’ve been hurt at work, however, and you are in the middle of seeking workers’ compensation benefits, social media is not your friend. Continue reading for a discussion of social media and how it might affect your workers’ comp case with our knowledgeable California workers’ comp attorney.
Posting on Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
As a general rule, whenever you are involved in any kind of legal claim, posting on social media is a bad idea. There are many different ways that social media can negatively impact your case, and precious few ways that social media posts can actually help you. The same general rule applies to workers’ compensation claims: You should try to avoid posting while your claim is pending. That means you should avoid posting about your accident, your injuries, or your recovery.
First of all, social media posts can be used to prove you were not hurt at work. Workers’ comp providers are insurance companies, through and through–that means they’ll look for any reason to deny coverage or reduce benefits. Workers’ comp covers workplace injuries. If you post pictures or stories about strenuous activities, such as sports, especially about any injuries you suffered during those activities, your workers’ comp provider might try to use that as evidence to claim your injuries were sustained outside of the workplace. The same applies, of course, if you admit to being hurt outside of work or lying to your employer or insurance provider. You could be denied coverage entirely.
Social media posts can be used to minimize your injuries and your coverage. The length and amount of your workers’ comp benefits depend on the severity of your injuries, the medical care necessary to get you back on your feet, and the amount of time you need to stay home from work to recover. If you post pictures or stories about playing sports, taking trips, or otherwise being especially active, your workers’ comp provider might take that as proof that you were not seriously injured and that you should get back to work.
Social media can be used to show you are not following your doctor’s orders. If you are posting about playing sports, traveling, or otherwise engaging in aggressive activities, your workers’ comp insurance provider may use that as evidence that you are going against your treatment plan. That evidence might go to show that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, as we said above, but it also might go to simply limit your coverage. If you don’t follow your doctor’s orders, then you could be sick or injured for longer than necessary. If you are injured longer than necessary because of your own conduct, your workers’ comp provider might stop paying out benefits.
Your right to privacy is limited. Anything you post online publicly can be accessed by your workers’ comp insurance provider, and your employer, and used against you in your workers’ comp case. Your insurer may even be able to access your “private” or “restricted” posts if they have reason to believe your posts would serve as evidence in your workers’ comp case. Your best bet is to avoid posting as much as possible, especially about anything related to your claim.
If you’ve been seriously hurt at work, you need seasoned, effective legal help to maximize your compensation. The zealous California workers’ comp legal team at Invictus Law is ready to help. We’re board-certified specialists in workers’ compensation. You don’t have to pay unless we recover on your behalf. Call us today for a consultation.