What Happens if I’m Injured While Working From Home?
Do you know that you have rights as an employee even if you work from home? Many of the same benefits extend to employees that telecommute as those that work in a corporate office, including worker’s compensation. If you are hurt at home or any other location while performing work-related activities, your employer is responsible for taking care of your injury. Here is what to expect if this happens to you.
1. The Burden of Proof Is on You
While you are working from home, you are responsible for proving that an injury occurred during a work-related activity. Since your home provides you the opportunity to do things that aren’t the requirements of your job, such as cooking or home maintenance projects, it’s expected that the worker’s compensation insurance company wants proof that the injury occurred while performing your work-related responsibilities. The best way to provide this proof is to immediately document the situation when you sustain an injury. Take pictures of the item that caused the injury, the overall layout of the environment, and pictures of the injury. All of this information is used to determine the scope of your accident and resulting damages.
2. Some Employers Have Telecommuter Policies
Since it’s difficult for an employer to verify if your home office is set up safely, many have policies that may limit what is covered in an injury. If your employer has such a policy in place, it’s important to be familiar with it so that you can receive the full benefits of insurance if you are injured. Some things that a policy may include are:
- Set work hours for employees, so any injury outside of these hours is not covered. Your employer may include a required lunch break, too. Be sure you don’t begin work before or after that time, or your claim can be denied.
- Specific locations within the home that are considered your designated work area.
- Your employer might have a specific definition of what your job entails, which may limit any claims if you were doing a task you weren’t designated to do.
- Designate which type of equipment you are allowed to use to complete your job to limit any claims if you’re using the wrong tool or machine.