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Could posting on social media hurt your workers' comp claim?

If you’re like many people, you share bits and pieces of your life on social media. If you’ve made a workers’ compensation claim, you might want to be careful about what you post because more insurance companies are using social media posts to combat insurance fraud. Your claim could be impacted negatively or even denied because you are not acting consistently with your reported injury. 

For example, if you injure your back at work and submit a workers’ comp claim, but then post on social media that you went hiking or helped your neighbor move, it could suggest that you were not injured. Many of your daily activities could raise flags or negative perceptions, even something as normal as grocery shopping. Having a work comp claim does not mean you must be bed-ridden or housebound, but the insurance company may try to paint any activities in a bad light in hopes of using it in front of a judge.

You might just be trying to get through your life and cope with pain, but the insurance company could use that against you. We’ve seen attempts by insurance companies to introduce pictures of our clients smiling at Summerfest, attending a baseball game, or even going on vacation. Most of these images are benign without impact, but the insurance company still wants to create a negative impression.

If you have made a workers’ compensation claim, the American Bar Association recommends that you talk with a lawyer about social media accounts to make sure you are not conveying a message that your injury is not debilitating. You certainly should not delete information or photographs on your social media page. Never assume that anything you post on social media is private, no matter what your settings are. Everyone, whether an injured worker or not, should make sure their privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media app are set to the highest possible protection level. 

A good rule of thumb is that if the insurance company takes longer than two weeks to investigate your claim, it will probably be denied. That investigation likely includes social media postings. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal. 

Insurance companies are interested in turning a profit, not being your friend. You may need an experienced lawyer on your side who will confront the insurance company and work to reach the best possible outcome for your case. 

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