Share Lawyers Supports Client After Disability Claims Questioned by Insurance Company

Share Lawyers Supports Client After Disability Claims Questioned by Insurance Company

At age 25, having recently earned her teaching degree and certification, Nicola had a very busy life. To stay in touch with nature and with herself in her first year of teaching, Nicola would go horseback riding every week. It was something she had done since girlhood. She felt that horseback riding had a recuperative effect, helping her to perform at her best at her new career.



Even when injuries from falling off a horse left her laid up with spinal injuries and struggling with her insurer, Nicola maintained her optimism. As an expression of her hopeful attitude, she even posted photos of herself enjoying supper out with friends on Facebook.

The photos depicted Nicola actively engaged in an outing with friends, with smiles on everybody’s faces. Surely, she thought, they proved that her injuries, though debilitating for a few months, would not bring her down. As it turned out, the same photos severely compromised her disability claim. Her insurer found them on Facebook and cut off her benefits, asking, “How disabled are you really?”

Aside from bruises that eventually healed, Nicola’s injuries included harm to her spine. From falling off a horse, she had several bulging discs plus a compression fracture of her T-7 vertebra, accompanied by chronic pain in her right side and post- traumatic stress. Despite medical evidence of these injuries, the photos of her enjoying an evening out with friends left her credibility shot.

Nicola was astounded that virtually anybody could access her information on Facebook. The experience made it clear to her that the internet community is one that you should engage in cautiously if you have any concerns about maintaining your privacy. Big Brother might really be watching.

Share Lawyers dealt with the photos in the only manner they could to reduce the potential harm. They pointed out that the pictures do not tell the whole story and were consistent mainly with Nicola’s determination to overcome her disability and rehabilitate. Limited social- izing and trying to put your best face forward to the world should not penalize you in the midst of a disability or injury claim.

The insurance company was obsessed with the impression that the photos made. Yet, after spending time with Nicola at mediation, they did eventually accept that those photos do not tell the whole story. If Nicola could do it all over again, she would find other ways to demonstrate that she was a survivor, rather than making such a public record for all to see.


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