Most work injuries can be attributed to on-site tasks, such as back injuries due to heavy lifting, slips and falls in bathrooms, or neck injuries after prolonged hours staring at your computer. When it comes to injuries occurring in the worksite environment, you are protected by law, thereby allowing you to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
These trying times have turned the world upside down, however. Most jobs today now happen remotely, especially since stay-at-home orders are still being enacted in various corners around the world.
The question now stands—how does the law work when you’re injured while working from home? Can your injury still be covered by the employer's workers' compensation insurance, or will you need to rely solely on your health insurance policy?
The answer can be tricky, but we’ve created this quick guide to help you get started. Let’s take a closer look at the coverage criteria, as well as ways you can prove an injury despite working remotely:
The Coverage Criteria
Workers' compensation is regarded as a no-fault system. This means that any injury sustained during the “course and scope of employment” will hold your employer reliable. Simply put, your injury will be covered under your employer's workers' compensation insurance. This is regardless of the cause of injury, whether it was sustained on your own negligence or someone else’s.
Keep in mind that the coverage applies to off-site injuries as well, meaning that injuries or accidents that have occurred outside of the office are included. In other words, your work-from-home injury is likely covered. The real challenge of the case will lie in proving the injury—particularly if it’s actually work-related.
Proving a Work-from-Home Injury
Although workers’ compensation falls under no-fault insurance, the burden of proof of negligence will fall on the remote employee’s shoulder. This case is different for onsite injuries, as working from home means no witnesses outside of your familiar circle.
You will need to provide evidence, which should demonstrate not only how the injury occurred, but that it happened as you were acting in the interest of your company. Here are some questions to ponder on:
- How was the employer benefiting from the actions when the injury occurred?
- Did the employer approve of or require the off-site activity?
- Did the employer manage the employee to engage in the activity, which has later caused the injury or accident?
Golden tip: Proving negligence may be challenging, but keep in mind that all employers are responsible for their employees—regardless if they’re on-site or working remotely. They’re mandated by law to always provide a safe work environment, no matter the circumstances.
Getting Help with Workers' Compensation Claim
The laws on workers' compensation benefits vary per state, but should you end up sustaining an injury while working remotely, make sure to gather all forms as soon as you can. These workers' compensation insurance forms will come from your employer but should be filed directly by you. Any evidence that may help prove the injury must also be preserved, particularly the area in which it happened. Any videos or photographs will also prove to be substantial.
Should your claim be denied, however, it’s best to enlist the help of a workplace injury attorney in Northern CA. We are Pacific Workers, the lawyers for injured workers, dedicated to helping you obtain the justice you deserve.
Call us at 800-606-6999 for a free consultation today or chat with us online.