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Can social media use affect your workers’ compensation claim?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

In today’s digital age, sharing snippets of our daily lives on social media platforms has become second nature. From posting pictures of weekend adventures to tweeting about day-to-day experiences, it is a way of staying connected. However, if you have a pending workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, you might want to think twice before hitting that “post” button.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 102,000 workplace injuries in Illinois in 2021. If you have been injured on the job, you need to know how your social media activity can influence your claim and what you can do to safeguard it.

Social media as evidence

While you might view your social media profiles as personal spaces, insurance companies and other parties, such as an insurer, can see them as potential gold mines of information. If you claim to have a severe back injury but post pictures of you hiking or playing sports, it raises questions. Such inconsistencies, whether perceived or real, can harm your claim’s credibility.

The reach of social media

You might think that keeping your accounts private will shield you from scrutiny, and it does add an extra layer of protection. However, even if you set your accounts to “private,” there is no absolute guarantee that the content will remain hidden; friends can share or screenshot your posts, or you might unknowingly accept a follower who has ties to interested parties in your claim.

Tips to protect your claim

Before sharing anything on social media, consider how it might look to someone unfamiliar with your situation. Here are some other things you can do:

Inform close connections. Let friends and family know about your claim; ask them not to post pictures of you or tag you in potentially compromising situations.

Limit your social media use. While your claim is pending, it might be a good idea to reduce your social media activity or take a temporary hiatus.

Avoid discussing your claim. It might be tempting to vent or seek support online, but discussing the details of your claim on social media can be detrimental.

If you have an ongoing workers’ compensation claim, by being cautious and mindful of your online activity, you can prevent unintended consequences and protect the integrity of your claim.