With more employees working remotely these days, telecommuters may be wondering whether they will be covered by worker’s compensation if they get injured at home. A claim will need to meet certain standards, but you may be eligible for benefits if the injury is work-related. However, it can be more challenging to prove you suffered an injury while working from home.
Below, we discuss this issue in greater detail. If you need help getting worker’s compensation benefits, Sigman Janssen is here to help. Our law firm has a proven track record recovering millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, including compensation for injured workers. It costs nothing to learn more about your rights in an initial consultation. We also charge no upfront fees if you use our services.
Injuries Covered by Worker’s Compensation
In Wisconsin, an employer is liable when an employee suffers an injury that arises out of and during the course of his or her employment. This means that if you are injured while working remotely, your employer could be held liable under that provision.
An employee, however, who deviates from his or her working duties to perform a task or activity for a personal or private reason, will generally not receive worker’s compensation benefits. There is a greater burden of proof to show that you were performing services related to your job when injured.
Injuries that occur while working from home are also far more difficult to prove because there are often no other witnesses present. Many claims that should be covered end up being denied.
That is why it is important that you document what happened (take photos of the accident scene and your injuries), report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and seek prompt medical care.
It is also in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer by your side through the claims process. Here are several factors a lawyer is likely to review to determine your eligibility for benefits.
Location of the Injury
It is important that you have a designated workplace to perform your work duties at home. If you use a computer all day, you should have a desk in a certain area where you typically work. Having this set up may make it less likely to have your claim dismissed.
For instance, you may be able to receive benefits if you suffer a back injury while at your work desk or if your computer power cord causes an electrical shock. However, you may face challenges if injured while sitting on the couch without sufficient back support or if you trip and fall in a different area of the house away from your work desk.
Time the Injury Occurred
Your employer may require that you maintain certain work hours or even log in or out of work. Your claim may proceed without delay if you can prove that your injury occurred while you were logged in.
For instance, say you must work a maximum of eight hours a day with a one-hour lunch break between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you get injured outside of your normal hours of operation, you will not be covered. This also applies if you work your hours anytime during the day but are injured at night.
Tasks Being Performed
Worker’s comp only applies to injuries that occur while performing job-related tasks or activities. You will need to prove that the any task you were performing at the time of the injury was related to your work. Otherwise, your employer may argue that you were injured while performing personal tasks.
Adhering to the Policy
Employers understand injuries can happen on the job site and even while working from home. Wisconsin developed telecommuting guidelines to help assist employers in managing employees working remotely. If your employer has a strict policy for telecommuters, the ability to obtain benefits will likely be reduced if you suffer an injury while violating company rules.
Permission from Employer
Your employer must have given you explicit permission to work from home. You may have difficulty getting an injury covered by worker’s comp if your employer specifically told you not to perform any job-related tasks remotely. This applies if your work is inherently risky and requires strict supervision.
Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Worker’s comp claims for injuries while telecommuting or working remotely can be more challenging to pursue than claims for on-site work injuries. For help getting the benefits you need, reach out to an Oshkosh worker’s compensation attorney from our firm today. We are prepared to work hard on your behalf to properly assess the circumstances of your injury and help prove your claim.
Our initial consultations are 100 percent free and completely confidential. There is no risk in calling us to find out how we may be able to help you and no obligation to move forward if you have a valid claim.
Sigman Janssen. Decades of Experience. Ph: (877) 888-5201