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Social media can damage your workers' comp claim

Social media may be the primary way you keep in touch with family and friends, especially if you are not originally from California. Having a Facebook, Twitter or other platform to post pictures and update your status is a convenient way to keep your family connected. You may also enjoy seeing the same posts from your loved ones.

However, if you are suffering from a workplace injury and have filed a claim for workers' compensation, you should be extremely cautious of what you post. Your boss and the company's workers' comp insurer will likely investigate your claim, and yes, that means monitoring your social media accounts.

Use social media wisely

Workers' compensation insurance is like any other insurance policy. The provider wants to minimize the amount of money they pay for a claim because every claim is costly to the insurer. Additionally, your employer does not want to risk his or her rates going up because of your claim. Finally, insurers and employers are always on the lookout for workers who commit fraud by claiming to have an injury and receiving benefits when they are not sick or injured at all.

If you are genuinely suffering from a workplace injury, you may think you have little to worry about. However, you may be surprised at how a seemingly innocent post can raise the suspicion of an insurance investigator, for example:

  • Pictures of you doing yard work or home improvement projects while off work because of an injury
  • Pictures from your recent vacation that occurred while you were apparently recovering from a workplace accident
  • Posts about activities you are able to do that contradict your claim, such as helping a friend move while out with a leg injury or working on your car when you have supposedly hurt your hand
  • Pictures of you celebrating with family when you are claiming to be suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental issues related to your job

Of course, investigators have no way of knowing the context of your social media posts or pictures. For example, many people post throwback pictures or memories from previous years. Some status updates are meant to be sarcastic, such as a tongue-in-cheek comment about going waterskiing after your recent back surgery. This is one reason why it is wise to have legal counsel on your side when you are filing for workers' compensation. An attorney can fight for the compensation you deserve and advocate to maximize your benefits.

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