If you’re injured on-the-job, employers and workers’ compensation insurers may follow-up to verify your injuries are as reported. Is your back really injured to the point that you can’t work or otherwise perform your full job duties?
Many workers’ compensation cases in Colorado and across the country have been dismissed in the past because the injured worker was seen mowing his lawn or out doing some strenuous activity outside of work.
Minor activities are one thing…it can be argued that you were having a ‘good day’ and felt well enough to do a few chores for example.
But many though may feel too good in the eyes of employers and insurers – mountain biking, hiking, dirt biking – are a few examples of activities that may draw attention.
Many incidents like these are easily spotted through social media sites like Facebook, personal blogs and so on.
With the growing popularity of these online social tools, employers and insurers are increasingly watchful of injured employees online. If they see a recent picture on Facebook of you out having fun or doing strenuous work while claiming to be injured, they then have a strong argument for dismissing your case.
What may seem as an innocent picture could be used as ammunition against you. And while case law regarding social media and workers’ compensation is slim, judges have ruled that insurers can introduce evidence obtained online. The argument is if it’s a picture posted online, it’s no longer considered private.
Therefore, be mindful of what you and your friends and family post on the Internet. It can come back and haunt your workers’ compensation claim. While some cases are clear fraud on the part of the worker, others are simple mischaracterizations of what was actually going on.