A warning to those on workers’ comp: be careful of the photos you post to your social network profiles, because they can potentially be used against you.
According to an article on ABCNews.com, an appeals court ruled that photos of an injured employee posted on his Facebook and MySpace accounts that showed him “drinking and partying” could be used to deny him further workers’ comp benefits.
The employee was injured on the job when a refrigerator fell on him. He received compensation for medical expenses and also received temporary total disability benefits for more than a year. After three surgeries resulting from his injury, he sought an extension of his benefits, saying that “excruciating pain” required further medical treatments and disability payments.
According to the article, an administrative law judge and the Arkansas Compensation Commission denied his application for additional benefits, so he hoped the Arkansas Court of Appeals would reverse the ruling. In his appeal, the employee requested that the court ban the photos from the social network sites because they were unrelated to his medical treatments.
However, the appeals court agreed with the previous rulings and denied additional treatments because diagnostic tests showed “no recurrent hernia and surgery.”
An opinion written by a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals stated, “We find no abuse of discretion in the allowance of photographs. Clement contended that he was in excruciating pain, but these pictures show him drinking and partying.”
It’s unfortunate that there are a few workers who try to take advantage of the system. As a result, employers and insurance companies are on the lookout for cases of fraud. When in doubt, it’s always a safe bet to refer to an attorney for help and advice. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.