If you are like most people in Ohio, you routinely use social media. You might even check your phone multiple times a day and receive notifications. You also likely use social media accounts to share details about what is going on in your life. It is understandable why so many people have grown to rely on social media. After all, social media offers the benefits of keeping us up to date with what is new with our friends. If you are in the middle of a workers’ compensation claim, however, it is likely a good idea to limit or avoid social media. This article takes a brief look at exactly how social media usage can negatively affect your workers’ compensation claim.
The Role of Workers’ Comp Insurance in Ohio
If you are injured while on the job, your employer’s insurance policy can cover your medical bills as well as any wages you lost during recovery. Because Ohio law requires all employers to carry this insurance, some workers seek to take advantage of the system through fraudulent activity. Statistics suggest approximately 10% of claims are fraudulent, which end up costing insurance carriers billions of dollars. Insurance carriers understand that workers often attempt to defraud the system, so they frequently perform detailed investigations of workers’ claims before issuing awards. This means that investigators frequently inspect social media accounts to determine whether a worker is actually injured. If an investigator determines that you lied or faked an injury to obtain compensation based on your social media posts, even if that is not the case, you will be denied compensation.
Realize What Investigators Might Find on Social Media
Even if your social media account settings are set to private, there are still methods that investigators use to see what you post. To determine exactly what investigators might be able to find by reading your social media accounts, it is important to consider:
- Whether you have a picture yourself engaged in physical activity after filing a claim for a personal injury
- Whether a status reveals efforts to spend on a home improvement project
- Whether you went on vacation during the time that you were supposed to be recovering from an on-the-job injury
Stay Off Social Media
There is no reason to be paranoid about the impact that social media might have on your workers’ compensation claim, but you should always be cautious before posting anything online. Before sharing, stop and reflect on how your words and pictures might be viewed by either your employer or the applicable insurance carrier. Even if you believe that what you are posting is okay, know that social media posts create misunderstandings on a routine basis. The best advice is to refrain from posting anything on social media until you are awarded compensation.
Speak With an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The workers’ compensation process is complex, and if you share inappropriate details on social media during this time, you can find yourself with no option to obtain compensation. To make sure you have the best chances of obtaining compensation, contact an experienced attorney at Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.