Workers' compensation: What you post online can be used against you
In the past few years, courts have been allowing social media as evidence in workers' compensation cases.
August 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Workers' compensation: What you post online can be used against you
Article provided by Brant & Associates, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.brantlaw.net
Every day millions of people around the world upload photos and share their lives with others though social networking sites. While social media can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, anything you post online can be used against you, especially if you are filing a workers' compensation claim in Washington County.
Social media being increasingly used as evidence
In the past few years, courts have been allowing social media as evidence in workers' compensation cases. In May, photos were used against a woman in Ohio to show that she fraudulently claimed workers' compensation by failing to report wages for a job that was captured in photos on Facebook, according to the Toledo Blade. As a result, she was ordered to pay back the $61,000 she received.
Last year, ABC News reported that photos were used against a man who was asking for workers' compensation to cover medical treatment for a back injury and hernia in Arkansas. The photos showed the man at a party during a time when he claimed to be in great pain. While it does not appear that the photos were the primary source for the denial of his appeal, the judge did state that they questioned the man's credibility.
Be careful what you put on social media
You may believe that what you post online is protected but investigators are increasingly looking for evidence on social media to disprove your claim of injury. These people often use search engines to find your social media information. Therefore, you need to take some precautions to make sure that you do not accidently damage your case. These precautions include:
-Making sure that your privacy settings are set to friends only, to prevent public access.
-If you are posting photos from a trip before the accident occurred, be sure to indicate this on them to establish a timeline.
-Avoid posting any details or comments about your workers' compensation case.
-Be careful who you accept friend requests from -- many investigators have been known to gather information in this manner.
Investigators will also establish contact with your friends and family in order to find evidence that they can use to discredit you. Carefully thinking about what you are revealing about yourself is often the best way to protect yourself.
Seeking legal help
Even though more courts are allowing pictures and posts from social media sites, there are specific rules in how such evidence can be gathered. For example, you would likely be able to successfully prevent photos being used if you could show that the investigator used a fictitious profile to befriend you on a social network. Having witnesses or other evidence that shows the photos were taken before your accident or injury may also succeed in questioning their relevance to the case. When you are dealing with workers' compensation issues, it is always best to have an experienced attorney assist you.
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