While Social Media can be a great vehicle for entertainment and promotion, it is a disaster for Injured Workers pursuing their Workers’ Compensation cases.
There are countless articles written in Insurance Industry publications promoting the fact that investigating injured workers within Social Media is a powerful tool to fight workers’ compensation fraud. Besides obtaining criminal convictions for Workers’ Compensation Fraud, Social Media can be used to diminish the value of an Injured Workers’ claim.
There is a vast amount of information that Insurance Companies can obtain about injured workers through Social Media which can be used in defending against their workers’ compensation claim.
Pictures: They can obtain pictures of you. Obtaining a picture can allow their Private Investigators find you when they are seeking to obtain Sub Rosa film.
Address: They can verify your address. Pictures of your residence can also be on the internet. This can assist Private Investigators locate you.
People: They can obtain the names of individuals who are your associates. They will know who they can interview concerning your activities. They will know who your friends are at work.
Hobbies: They can obtain information concerning your hobbies. This information will tell them as to what activities they can videotape you doing. Perhaps, you are in a Softball League or in a Soccer League, they can videotape you participating in those activities. Even if they cannot obtain videotape on you, they can inform the reporting physicians as to your level of activity.
Activities: They can obtain information concerning your activities. For example, you might provide information on Social Media concerning a certain activity. This can include information that such as a fact that you were moving, that you attended a concert, that you attended a party, that you went out to dinner or that you went on a vacation. In Workers’ Compensation law, activities of daily living are a factor in determining impairment. Further, your level of activity can determine whether you are totally temporarily disabled and entitled to TTD benefits. Further, your activity level can impact whether a Doctor, Vocational Expert or a Judge would be considered Permanently Totally Disabled. For Psychiatric claims of injury, the amount of social activity documented in Social Media can lead to a lower assessment of your Psychiatric Disability. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale which Mental Health Practitioners use to determine Injured Workers’ impairment.
Timelines: Social Media can provide time lines for the insurance company concerning your activities. These can be used to prove or disprove injuries. For example, you complained of being sick on Monday due to your work injury and needed to miss work. At the same time of you making such a claim, there are pictures on Social Media that you were partying in Las Vegas during the weekend.
Social Media can compromise and destroy one’s Workers’ Compensation case. Further, it is very cheap for the Insurance Company to do the research. All they need to do is “google” your name.
In sum, before you consider participating in Social Media, please consider the consequences it may have with respect to your workers’ compensation case. You may attempt to limit the damage by employing privacy settings. Those settings, however, are not a guarantee that the Insurance Company will not be able to obtain your information.
Law Offices of Edward J. Singer
At the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, we represent our clients with their workers’ compensation claims. The Law Offices have prosecuted Labor Code Section 132a claims and have a number of reported cases on that issue.
With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, we are here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.
Posted in Workers’ Compensation