You May Be Entitled To Worker's Compensation, Even If You Work From Home

Posted on: 26 July 2017

Approximately 3.3 million full-time professional people work from home, or telecommute, each and every day. If you are one of these workers, you know that when you work from home, you have improved morale, increased productivity, and lower stress levels, but unfortunately you also have the potential to have on the job accidents. The only difference is that these accidents take place in your home and not in a space that is owned, or being rented, by your employer. Will you be eligible for worker's compensation? That may depend on your employer's response or how well your worker's compensation lawyer handles your case. 

What Qualifies As A Worker's Compensation Injury?

For your injury to fall under the umbrella of worker's compensation, it must meet certain criteria. Some of these are as follows:

  • You must be injured or become ill on the job or as a result of the work you do
  •  You must work for an employer that carries worker's compensation insurance
  • You must be considered an employee of the company

Many times the third criteria is used to weed out or separate people who are contractors, sub-contractors, or 1099 employees, but there are other classes of people who may also not be covered under worker's compensation depending on the laws of your state. These include:

  • Domestic workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Undocumented workers and others

These individuals are most often not considered employees of the company and would therefore not be covered under the company's worker's compensation insurance.

Who Has the Burden Of Proof?

When you are injured, or become ill, in the office or any other type of workplace, your accident or injury may be witnessed by others. Getting them to write a witness statement pertaining to what they saw and the conditions of your environment at the time of your accident can go far in establishing the credibility of your claim. When you get injured when you are working from home, you often do not have a witness and the burden of proof of proving that an accident actually happened falls on you. 

You must be able to show the specifics of the injury. This is the who, what, when, and where of the injury. You must be able to not only be able to sufficiently describe and demonstrate to your employer how the injury happened, you have to be prepared to relay the same information to the worker's comp claim adjuster. If your employer is not willing to file and pay your claim, you may even have to be able to explain and demonstrate your injury to the court.

What Do You Need To Do?

If you sustain an injury while you are working at home, you must first make sure that you report the injury to your employer immediately. Depending on your location, they may require that you receive your medical attention through a particular provider in order for them to file your worker's compensation claim. 

Make sure you document everything with photographs and/or video. Film the location in which the injury happened, the injury itself, and even a reenactment of the injury. Write out a detailed description of your injury while it is fresh in your mind.

Make sure you keep all of your documentation, which should include all of your medical records, and any correspondence that takes place between you and your employer, as well as between you and the worker's compensation insurance company.

If your employer will not honor your claim, call a worker's compensation lawyer from a firm like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP. Proving a case for a telecommuting employee can be a very difficult and you will need a knowledgeable professional working with you.


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