Can You Collect Worker’s Comp if You Work from Home?
More people are telecommuting and working from home than ever before. Recent polls show that as many as 25% of all emploWork from Homeyees in the U.S. work from home. Even more work from home at least some of the time.
So, it makes sense that people would wonder if they’re covered under worker’s comp if they work from home. The answer to this question is – maybe. It really depends on the kind of work you do, the kind of injury you suffer, and what you were doing at the time of your injury.
Most people who work from home do some kind of non-physical labor. We don’t see a lot of construction workers doing their job from their home office. Nor do we see factory workers telecommuting.
The more physical the job, the more likely that you’ll suffer a work-related injury. This doesn’t mean, however, that office workers don’t get hurt on the job. You’re just as likely to suffer an injury at home as you would in an office building.
The hard part about these cases is proving that you were actually working at the time of your injury. Your Baton Rouge worker’s comp lawyer will have to prove this in order for your claim to be covered.
What Kind of Work-Related Injuries Can Happen at Home?
Most people think that working from home is easy. They picture someone sitting in their pajamas, watching daytime television and getting paid for it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this isn’t the way it works.
Most people who work from home have to keep set hours. Their employer expects them to work the same hours at home as they would if they were in the office. If, during these hours, the employee gets hurt, they should be entitled to file a worker’s comp claim.
Some of the types of injuries that could happen while working from home include:
- Vision issues (perhaps due to excessive exposure to computer screens)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back injuries (if the employee’s desk chair breaks and they fall)
- Lacerations, cuts or broken bones
If you experience any of these injuries, you may have a valid worker’s compensation claim. Your Baton Rouge worker’s comp lawyer will still have to prove that you’re entitle to benefits.
How Can You Prove the Injury Occurred on Company Time?
In order to be covered under worker’s comp, the injury must take place while you’re on the clock. This isn’t hard to prove if you work onsite. When you work at home, however, it’s another story.
Your attorney has to show that you were hurt while you were working. There are a few ways they can do this.
If you do keep set hours, your lawyer will have to prove that the injury took place during these hours. They can do this in the following ways:
- Prove that you were transported to the hospital during these hours
- Submit copies of emails or text messages that were sent immediately after the injury took place
- Video recordings with a time stamp of the injury
- Your statement that the injury occurred during working hours
If you don’t work set hours, it will be very hard to prove that you were on company time. Your lawyer will have to convince your employer or the insurance company that this is the case. You’ll have to use the context of the accident to prove this happened.
For example, let’s say you trip and fall. You break your leg and suffer a herniated disc in your back. Your employer claims you were on personal time when this happened. You can prove that you tripped over your computer wires and fell in your home office.
Some evidence you can submit to prove this is the case would be pictures of the scene, video recordings, and medical records.
What Benefits Will You Receive if Your Claim is Approved?
If your worker’s comp claim is approved, you’ll be entitled to certain benefits. In Baton Rouge, you’re entitled to the following workers’ comp benefits:
- Medical care for your work-related injuries
- This care must be provided by a company approved doctor
- Replacement wages equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages
- The maximum weekly benefits you can receive is $657
- Permanent benefits if you don’t fully recover from your injuries
Your Baton Rouge workers comp attorney at Babcock Trial Lawyers will help you file your claim. They’ll also handle your appeal should your claim be denied. Your employer will have lawyers working for them and you should too.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your claim.