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Workers' compensation claim pending? Take a Facebook break

When a person in Ohio has been injured on the job, they are entitled to seek workers' compensation benefits to supplement the income lost during treatment and recovery for their injuries. Necessary medical treatment is not always easy to predict and sometimes additional treatment is required beyond the initial diagnosis period.

In some cases, an injured worker must seek an extension of benefits when more treatment is necessary. One young worker filed such an extension after experiencing excruciating pain beyond the period of time allotted for by his temporary total-disability benefits. His extension was denied due in part to photos found on his Facebook profile that depicted him drinking with his friends.

The 27-year-old man had been injured almost exactly three years ago on March 12, 2009. He was working when a refrigerator tipped over onto him and causing injuries that required at least three surgeries. He was granted temporary total-disability benefits for just over a year. When the benefits ran out, he said that the pain persisted at a level that required more treatment.

When the court denied his extension, he appealed the ruling asking that the Facebook photos not be used as evidence in determining whether or not the benefits should be extended. The court of appeals denied the request to exclude the photos. A representative for the young man said the photos were "irrelevant, immaterial and prejudicial," and that the determination should focus on his need for further treatment instead of how he dealt with the pain.

Although this case occurred in Arkansas, it is a case worth highlighting in Ohio. These types of photos should not be used to determine benefits but there is an easier way to deal with the problem. Avoid it. The case helps show that when a workers' compensation claim is pending, it may not be a bad idea to avoid posting or uploading photos on social media sites.

Source: abc news, "Court Okays Facebook Party Photos in Workers Comp Claim," Lyneka Little, Feb. 3, 2012

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