It seems like, these days, everyone uses social media. In fact, a Pew Research Center report says 72% of Americans use some type of social media., with senior citizens being one of the most rapidly growing user demographic. That should come as no surprise considering social media has become a handy tool for individuals to share their lives with family and friends.
However, when it comes to those involved in workers’ compensation claims in California, those injured on the job should be especially careful when sharing on social media.
Whether your preferred social media channel is Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or one of the many others, making an online public statement regarding your workplace injury can harm your workers’ comp claim. While posting photos of an injury and sharing thoughts and feelings about it may seem relatively harmless, the truth is that such posts can and likely will be turned against you.
The use of social media has become the preferred surveillance tactic among insurance companies snooping for information about anyone filing a workers’ compensation claim in California. That is especially true if the insurance company is skeptical about your workplace injury.
That’s why the California workers’ compensation attorneys at Aoudi Law recommend that anyone considering a workers’ comp claim or with an existing open claim be incredibly cautious when using social media.
Social Media Photos and Posts Are Admissible in Workers’ Comp Claims
Be aware that all posts on social media are public records. Therefore, employers, insurance companies, or anyone else may use your posts against you in legal proceedings, including a workers’ comp claim. Public photos, location check-ins, or posts you have been tagged in are all easily accessible. Even in cases where you have your entire social media profile on lockdown and make your posts private, they are still public records, and if the wrong people get their hands on those posts, they can legally use them against you.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid sharing anything through social media you wouldn’t feel comfortable directly sharing with those involved in your workers’ comp claim, especially the insurance companies, who are constantly looking for ammunition to use against you. Insurance companies will stop at nothing to blow holes in your workers’ comp claim in an effort to devalue or outright deny you the compensation you deserve.
Steer Clear of Social Media During the Claims Process
While you might think that this is a big “to do” about nothing, it is one of the essential topics for California workers to consider during their workers’ comp claim process. Even if all of the evidence is there, in black and white, to show that you were injured on the job and that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under California law, a single social media post can ruin everything. That is because anything social media posts are often distorted to create misleading narratives.
Let’s say you are a California construction worker who suffered a neck injury due to an on-the-job accident and currently seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Let’s now imagine that a claims administrator finds your social media account and sees photos of you participating in outdoor activities after the date of the incident. No doubt, those photos will be used against you, even if those outdoor activities have no bearing on your injury.
The bottom line is that you don’t want claims administrators or insurance companies to have additional reasons to scrutinize, potentially devalue, or deny your workers’ compensation benefits. To ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process, steer clear of your social media accounts for the duration of your workers’ comp claim process.
Safeguarding Your California Workers’ Compensation Claim
Injured workers must keep all details of their workers’ comp claim private. Perhaps most critical is to avoid posting pictures or other evidence that shows you engaged in activities that go against a doctor’s orders. As mentioned above, taking a social media break for the duration of your case is usually the best course of action.
You should also consider hiring a workers’ comp attorney following a workplace-related injury. An experienced California workers’ comp lawyer will help you fight against even the most aggressive insurance companies and claims administrators and guide you through obtaining the compensation you deserve.
The experienced team of professionals at Aoudi Law has helped countless California workers get the compensation they deserve through the workers’ compensation claims process. Call or text 714-386-9874 today for a free consultation.