What Happens if You’re Injured While Working From Home or on the Road? Can Workers’ Compensation Cover Injuries Suffered While Telecommuting?

If you are injured on the job, there are some steps you can take to be sure that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, before you even think about the compensation you could receive, you must first find out if you are eligible in the first place. There are some requirements that must be met, including the following:

  • Your employer must be covered by workers’ compensation. Not all employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. It will largely depend upon how many employees the job has, what type of business it is running, and what type of work the employees are physically doing.
  • Your injury or illness must be work-related. If you were working for the benefit of your employer and became injured or ill as a result, then your injury will be seen as work-related. When the injury does not actually happen in a work setting, this can be more difficult to figure out – but as long as it happens during work hours, you will usually have a claim.
  • You must be an actual employee. You may be considered a worker at your job, this is true, but you may not be seen as an employee. Independent contractors are a perfect example because they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Now you can find out more about what to expect if you have been injured at home or on the road, but during work hours.

Is working from home any different than working in an office?
If you were doing something for the benefit of your employer, then your injury will probably be seen as work-related. This means that, if your injury occurred during any course of employment, no matter where it was, you are probably eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries involving telecommuting can be quite rare. However, when they occur, usually the employee still wins the case. There have been some examples in history where the plaintiff won, including a professor who slipped on papers in the home office and a woman who worked from home and was assaulted while making lunch in her kitchen.

What if my employer has taken care to implement practices that keep me from filing for workers’ compensation?
In some cases, an employer will take extra precautions to make sure workers’ compensation liability does not fall to them. For instance, they may have created a telecommuting policy that outlines the employer’s expectations for employees that work from home and that they are to not be held accountable. They may also establish guidelines for a home office, such as a designated work area that is safe and comfortable. Along with this, they may also set fixed work hours so that they can better establish that the injury actually occurred in the course of employment. If this has happened, then there may not be many things you can do to get the compensation you felt you were owed. This is why it is always a good idea to check into these things before you commit to a telecommuting job.

Telecommuting injuries are typically the same ones that you would suffer in an office setting such as neck pain, back injuries, stress, migraines, and repetitive motion injuries. If you have been injured and believe you deserve compensation, you should contact your employer and tell them about the injury as soon as possible. The second step you should take is talking to an attorney that understands workers’ compensation law in its entirety. Call MDL today to schedule a consultation and find out where you stand.