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.
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.
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.