What Qualifies as a Work Injury When Your Home Is Your Workplace?
All employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and they must use this insurance to pay for the medical treatment of employees who are injured at work. Workers’ compensation insurance must pay for the injured workers’ treatment as long as the injury was work-related, whether or not it was due to negligence on the part of the employer. The insurance company assumes that the injury was work-related if it happened at the workplace; if the injured worker is a professional driver, the injury counts as work-related if it resulted from an accident when the worker was driving or riding in a company vehicle. What happens if the workplace is your home, though? In theory, workers’ compensation should pay for your injuries, but you might have a harder time proving that your injury is work-related. If your employer disputes your claim about injuries you sustained while working from home, contact a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Employees Injured While Working at Home
You can get workers’ compensation to cover your work injuries that occur while you are working at home, but that does not mean that all employees who work from home can get their employers to pay for the treatment of accidental injuries they sustain in any accidents that happen in their houses. Workers’ compensation only covers work injuries that happen while you are doing your job. When you work outside the home, workers’ compensation laws assume that you are doing your job simply because you are present at your workplace. For example, workers who get injured in slip and fall accidents in the office break room can claim workers’ compensation, even if they were not officially on the clock when the accident happened. This is because the employer is responsible for the employees’ safety whenever they are at the workplace.
Things are a lot less clear cut when you get injured while working from home. The employer has much less control over the safety conditions of your home workspace. Some employers who assign workers to do their jobs from home give them guidelines about how to arrange their workspaces to prevent injury, but most don’t. If you got injured while you were doing your job, for example, if your computer chair broke while you were working, and you fell down, you are in a pretty strong position to claim workers’ compensation. If you got injured while taking a break from work but the accident took place during your workday, convincing your employer that the injury was work-related is more difficult. In several states, including Florida, work-at-home employees who got injured in trip and fall accidents have tried to claim workers’ compensation, with varying degrees of success. In a Florida case, an insurance adjuster working from home tripped over her dog during her coffee break; the case is currently before the Florida Supreme Court.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
You might need a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer to help you argue that your work injury was work related if you work from home. Contact a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for a consultation.