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Surveillance, Social Media & Workers' Compensation

Surveillance, Social Media & Workers' Compensation

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, workers’ compensation fraud costs an approximately $7.2 billion annually. In order to prevent workers’ comp fraud, insurance companies use several tools to fight it -- most commonly surveillance and social media.

Surveillance

Insurers typically hire private investigators to observe someone how has claimed workers’ comp benefits. Whether they conduct surveillance outside the home or while the claimant is running errands, these investigators regularly spend hours, perhaps days, seeing if the injured individual performs an activity that contradicts what’s stated on the injury claim.

If an investigator determines that the claimant is capable of performing certain activities which show that the person is not injured or disabled as they claim to be, then the insurer can counter a workers’ comp claim. The insurance company will often use the surveillance footage as evidence to end benefits.

Social Media

On the other hand, insurance providers also do their own research on individual who claim to have suffered injuries at the workplace. In most cases, they conduct an internet search and Google the person claiming benefits.

However, over the last decade, social media has become a popular way for people to express their thoughts, share photos and videos, and stay in touch with close friends and family. Insurers will spend countless hours looking skimming through posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites made by people who claim workers’ comp benefits.

Courts often consider social media as discoverable evidence. The main belief is that sharing social media content with others - no matter the size of the audience - an injured worker forfeits his privacy with respect to that content. In other words, a post which shows that an individual is actually not injured, despite claiming workers’ comp benefits, will typically be allowed into evidence in court.

If you sustained an injury on the job and need skilled legal assistance in New Mexico, contact our Albuquerque workers’ comp attorney at Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law today.

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