Use of Social Media in Workers' Compensation Claims

Job Injury Lawyers Serving the Wheaton and Schaumburg Areas

In the information age, social media can certainly affect your workers’ compensation case. In some cases, social media can help a workers’ compensation case by verifying a worker’s claim and confirming the details of it. In other cases, however, social media evidence can negate a worker’s claim and could be used to deny workers’ compensation benefits. If you are worried about the use of social media in workers’ compensation claims, we are here to help. Our Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and resolving your case efficiently.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Illinois workers’ compensation is a system that provides financial support to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness, irrespective of who is at fault for the injury or illness. In other words, you do not need to prove fault in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, the law allows for workers’ compensation benefits in the event that an employee aggravates or exacerbates a pre-existing injury or illness. In such cases, however, the aggravation or exacerbation must be work-related. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer is required to cover the cost of all reasonably necessary medical care and pay two-thirds of your wages through your recovery period. You may also be eligible for additional compensation if you become disabled because of your injuries.

Use of Social Media in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Illinois law allows an insurance company to hire an investigator to conduct surveillance of an injured worker. The surveillance can range from physically following the injured worker to videotaping the worker in public to talking to the worker’s friends and neighbors. This type of surveillance is allowed because it usually happens in public spaces where the individual does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” anyway. With the rise in social media, however, investigators are no longer confined to surveillance on foot. They can scour the injured worker’s social media accounts to catch any questionable activity.

If you have been injured while working, and you are being treated or are receiving workers' compensation benefits, you should assume that your social media activity is being monitored. Injured workers need to be very careful about what they post online and should avoid being tagged by friends and family. Insurance companies are looking to catch injured workers who are exaggerating their injury or feigning an illness as a way to receive workers’ compensation benefits. As a result, insurance companies and their investigators may even try to send you friend requests on various social media platforms as a way to gain access to your online activity.

In some instances, social media can help corroborate a person’s injury. Consider the following example. A worker in Schaumburg or Wheaton has injured his leg and requires the use of crutches. An online post shows a picture of him using crutches at a social event. This would help confirm the worker’s injury and would probably help his case. On the other hand, however, if an online post showed that worker jumping from a diving board, an activity that would be impossible to perform with a leg injury, the online evidence could be used to discredit his injury and ultimately deny his claim. It is important to note that once the online post has been made and seen, the damage has been done. This is why it is critical to be proactive rather than reactive about your online activities.

Contact a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Social media makes it easy to share the details of our daily lives with others. Unfortunately, this information can easily be used against you as well. If you are concerned about the use of social media in workers’ compensation claims, you need to consult our seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys immediately. We will meticulously examine the nuances of your case and help you figure out your next steps. Our attorneys represent people in the areas around Schaumburg, Wheaton, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook. Call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.

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