More than ever before, a significant number of employees are skipping the office and working remotely. Whether you regularly work from home or you are more recently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if you have suffered injuries while working remotely, you may be entitled to compensation under a workers’ compensation claim. California workers’ compensation specialist Joseph Kritzer knows that working from home is often viewed as a job perk, but he also understands that there are challenges that employees face when they live and work in the same space.
Remote Work Injuries And Workers’ Comp Benefits
Any injury that can happen in the workplace can also occur at home, and in some cases, working from home may present a higher risk of work injury than going to work in an office. When you work from home, you may not have access to amenities that you do when you work at an office or other type of workplace. For example, you may have a higher risk of experiencing common office injuries, such as repetitive movement injuries and low back injuries when you work from home.
Employers often take precautions in the workplace but fail to ensure that their employees have what they need to prevent injuries at home. Especially if you are working from home temporarily, you may not have appropriate and necessary work equipment, such as an ergonomic desk and chair. You may have work clutter such as boxes of files and printer paper that present tripping hazards because you don’t have the filing cabinets and storage space at home that you do at the office.
California Work Comp Law
The California Labor Code provides that employers are required to carry workers’ compensation for their employees who sustain injuries arising out of and in the course of employment. There is no exception to this requirement for employees who work from home. This means that regardless of where you were injured if your injuries occurred while you were working, you should be covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault insurance coverage that is meant to be mutually beneficial for both employers and employees. With few exceptions, California employers are required to carry workers’ compensation policies to cover any potential employee work injury.
Workers’ compensation insurance premiums may be pricey for employers, but work comp provides financial protection for employers because, in most cases, these claims are the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries. Injured employees are generally barred from filing personal injury lawsuits against their employers, which means that employers are not at risk for personal injury damages such as medical bills and pain and suffering.
Work Comp Benefits For Injured Employees
The work comp benefits that injured employees may collect are more limited than the compensation that may be collected under a personal injury claim, but unlike personal injury claims, employees do not have to prove that someone else was at fault for their work injuries. This helps ensure that injured employees get the critical and timely medical care that they need, especially when they have a workers’ compensation attorney representing their interests.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, in addition to compensation for medical bills, you may also recover compensation for temporary disability, permanent disability, and supplemental job displacement benefits. If you lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, you might be entitled to workers’ comp death benefits.
Types Of At-Home Injuries Covered By Workers’ Comp Benefits
As mentioned above, remote employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries arising out of and in the course of their employment. Typically, if you were injured at home while you were working, your injuries will be covered. There are some grey areas when it comes to whether you were working at the time of your accident, however. For example, what if you stopped working to answer your doorbell, and you were injured on your way to the door? Or what if you were injured when you went to your kitchen to grab a glass of water?
If you have been injured while working from home and you have questions about workers’ comp coverage, it is important to speak with a workers’ comp attorney. Employers and insurance companies may not give you straightforward answers because workers’ compensation claims negatively impact them, and they often work to limit or eliminate your recovery. A workers’ compensation attorney will help you secure all of the benefits to which you are entitled.