Workers’ Compensation and Working From Home
Although the laws vary by state, workers’ compensation benefits generally cover full-time and part-time employees no matter where they engage in work-related activities. This means that you can make workers’ comp claims for injuries sustained while working remotely. With that said, and as an experienced Brooklyn workers’ compensation attorney – including those who practice at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC – can confirm, submitting a remote workers’ comp claim can be a uniquely complicated process. It can be more difficult to prove that a remote injury occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney about your situation before submitting a claim. Having an experienced lawyer by your side can help to ensure that your claim is fairly valued and processed promptly.
How to Prove an Injury While Working from Home
Most states use a personal comfort doctrine when weighing if an injury should be covered by workers’ compensation. This means that an employee will be covered while taking brief breaks related to comfort—taking a stretch, brewing a fresh cup of coffee, or using the bathroom.
However, the interpretation of personal comfort doctrine is somewhat different while you’re working from home. For instance, if you are at your workplace and you trip on stairs while taking a stretch break, you can probably receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re working from home and you trip over the leash while taking your dog for a walk, whether you can receive benefits is a question that will depend on a variety of factors, including your state’s personal comfort doctrine.
The two legal phrases that clarify conditions of workers’ compensation are “in the course of,” which defines the timeframe as working time, and “arising from,” which defines whether the injury happened while performing work-related tasks. Your work-from-home injury must meet these two criteria to be eligible for a claim.
As previously noted, proving that an at-home injury occurred while you were engaged in work-related activity can be tricky. Insurance representatives tend to deny or devalue claims that can’t be properly substantiated. Working with an attorney can help to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Seeking Legal Assistance
If you are injured while working from home, inform your employer immediately and file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as you can. You will likely need to visit a medical professional to document your injuries. If you need help or if your claim is denied, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer near you.