Am I Covered By Workers’ Compensation If I Work From Home?
The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders have dramatically shifted the appearance and reality of the American workplace, with more employees than ever working from home. This new dynamic and working environment has raised many questions for employees. For instance, if you’re injured while working from home does it still count as a “workplace injury?” While the question may seem laughable at first, in most cases, the answer is still yes.
Assessing Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries must be assessed the same way regardless of whether they occur at home, in the office, or off of work premises. This assessment involves determining whether the injury occurred in the course of the employee’s employment, and whether it was for the employer’s benefit. For instance, an employee who slips and falls in the breakroom while eating his lunch on company property will qualify for workers’ compensation because eating lunch on company property benefits the employer. If you stub your toe in your home office while on a work call – this is a covered case.
Establishing that Your Injury is Work-Related
In most cases, injuries incurred in the course of your employment while working at home will be covered. Generally, the benefits for all parties (medical coverage, lack of lawsuit) outweigh the cost of approving the claim, even in cases where the employees’ own negligence contributed to the injury. The main hurdle employees will face in attempting to get workers’ compensation coverage for an injury incurred while working at home is proving that the injury is work related. It can be difficult to establish that your occupation caused your injury, if it is the type of injury that could have happened to you at your home any time, regardless of whether you were working or not. Claims that have a clear causal link between the injury and the employment have a much higher likelihood of being approved.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
An attorney can help you present the strongest version of your claim with evidence and arguments to support this causal connection. An attorney also levels the playing field between an injured employee and an experienced claims adjuster, who knows far more about how to withhold and deny compensation for claims than the employee knows about side-stepping these pitfalls. Having an attorney to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process also allows you to focus more on your recovery and less on the frustrating process of getting coverage for it.
Talk to a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured in the course of your employment, regardless of whether you telecommute or work on-site, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP, are ready to advocate for you and help you navigate this process. Call today and schedule a free consultation.