Are you in the midst of proceedings involving a workers’ compensation claim? If you are, then feel free to update your lawyer on how things are moving along. If you do not have legal counsel, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. You may even consider speaking to your boss, direct supervisor, or the physician who is treating your injuries.
You could tell your family, your friends, or your significant other, but there is a big thing you should not do — go on social media.
Posting the details of your work-related injury and workers’ compensation claim can hurt your workers’ compensation case. If it is deemed damaging to the image of a company, you may even be sued by your employer.
Do you want to learn more? Read on before thinking of hitting “post” on your latest status update.
Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Workers’ compensation fraud costs insurance companies more than $7 billion yearly. With workers’ compensation fraud growing in incidence, employers are on the lookout. Employers are looking to use what they find online as evidence — evidence that is acceptable in many states.
It might seem petty for your employer and his or her legal counsel to look into what you post. Nonetheless, they do this to keep an eye out for signs that you are hurting the company.
If you post something that gives this impression, it can be used against you. With a lawyer at the company’s disposal, fighting off accusations will be an uphill battle. These difficulties will pile on top of your recovery and your workers’ compensation battle.
Are Social Media Posts Admissible as Evidence?
The short answer to this question is yes, but it’s a bit more complicated. In a workers’ compensation case, the necessity of compensation is what your legal counsel will argue. He or she will invoke statutes, as well as prove your inability to work, resulting in the loss of your wages.
Paying workers’ compensation, while required, is not cheap for the insurance provider or your employer. Along with protecting himself or herself from workers’ compensation fraud, your employer will exhaust every option to avoid paying.
Social media posts like videos, status updates, or pictures can present details that are instrumental to the purposes of your employer. Let us illustrate with an example.
Imagine that you claimed to be injured at work. This necessitates you to be on work restrictions. Because your workers’ compensation claim went smoothly, you were on wage loss benefits. One day, your employer finds a recent post of you deadlifting in the gym.
This indicates that you were well and simply took advantage of your company’s workers’ compensation policies. Your employer can sue you for fraud based on what he or she gathered from your social media account.
But I Am Injured
Granted, you are probably not inclined to deceive your employer into giving you workers’ compensation benefits. If you are truly injured, this does not mean that you can post whatever you want on social media. In fact, you may want to stay away from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for a while.
While you are recovering, avoid posting anything that will give your employer a reason to believe you are well enough to work. This includes posts that:
- Show you are out
- Detail your latest vacation
- Show your latest achievement in the gym
- Indicate your attendance at an event, party, or function
As well, avoid posting anything that speaks ill of your employer. While it may not affect your workers’ compensation case, it can render you liable for defamation.
Key Takeaway: When It’s Online, It’s Forever
Social media has its place in the 21st century. However, like anything instrumental or crucial to our lives, it can be abused. If you are in the middle of seeking workers’ compensation, resist the temptation to post.
Instead, hire an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer who will listen to your woes as you recover and win compensation on your behalf.