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Work From Home: Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Work From Home: Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Just a few years ago, the notion of working from home applied to very few of us. The pandemic, however, changed all of that, and more people are working from home than we would have ever believed possible back in early 2020. If you work from home, you probably have a good rhythm going and don’t think much about being injured in the process. If you are injured at work, however, and you happen to work at home, what happens? It’s an important question that needs to be explored. The first order of business if you are injured on the job and you work from home – after obtaining the medical attention that you require – is consulting with an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney for the professional legal counsel you need.

Work From Home Workers’ Compensation

You were injured on the job, but you were at home, and your mind may be reeling. If your injuries require extensive medical attention and you experience a dip in earnings; as a result, it is a lot to cope with. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation law has got you covered. As long as you were performing your normal work duties at the time that you were injured – even though you happened to be injured while at home – and you had your employer’s permission to work from home, workers’ compensation coverage applies, and you are entitled to – and should – seek coverage by filing a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you get up from your desk for your 15-minute morning break, and you slip and fall on your way to grab a glass of water, injuring yourself in the process – you should have a valid workers’ compensation claim.

The Intention of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

When it comes to workers’ compensation insurance, the idea is to provide both the employee and the employer with some protections – even if both give up something in the process. Consider the following general guidelines:

  • Workers’ compensation takes the matter of negligence off the table, meaning that you do not have to prove your employer’s negligence to bring a viable workers’ compensation claim.
  • In turn, your employer does not have to worry about cascading lawsuits stemming from work accidents – because you forfeit your right to sue your employer.
  • Your employer does, however, give up the right to fight your claim and to, as a result, not cover it.

As such, the workers’ compensation law will not penalize you just because you happened to be working at home when you were injured.

The Most Common Work From Home Injuries

The most common type of accidents in nearly every setting – and some of the most dangerous – are slip and fall accidents, and it probably comes as no surprise that these are just as common when working from home as when working from the office. Slip and fall accidents are often caused by uneven walking surfaces, frayed or otherwise worn floor coverings, and flooring made slippery by moisture that’s tracked in, debris, and much more. Other common causes of work from home injuries include:

  • Accidents involving heavy office equipment
  • The repetitive motion injuries that are closely associated with hunching over a computer all day
  • Tripping accidents caused by hazards such as walkways that are crowded with office furniture or something else

The fact is that retrofitting our homes with offices can lead to overly cramped spaces and to plenty of opportunities for accidents to happen.

Steps You Should Take to Protect Your Work From Home Workers’ Compensation Claim

There are several important steps you can take to help protect your recovery and your work from home workers’ compensation claims (and these steps may be even more important when you work from home). Keep all the following in mind:

  • Seek medical attention as soon after the accident as possible – even if you don’t think you were seriously injured. Minor injuries have a way of morphing into far more serious injuries, and it is always in your best interest to err on the side of caution.
  • Let your boss, supervisor, or employer know about the accident as soon after it happens as possible (especially important in work from home workers’ compensation claims because there aren’t any other employees around to make the notification for you).
  • Follow your medical team’s medical instructions and advice very carefully. Doing so allows you not only to protect your health and well-being but also to send a strong message to the insurance company that your injuries are as serious as you claim.
  • Consult with an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney early in the process. Your dedicated attorney will help guide your claim as effectively and efficiently as possible towards a favorable claim resolution that protects your rights and your rightful compensation.
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