The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies and individuals alike to adopt a new approach to conducting business – one that took place strictly online. Since the start of the pandemic three years ago, more than 60 percent of U.S. employees have transformed their home into their office, blurring the lines between working and living. Now, as remote work becomes the norm for many companies, more and more employees are moving to the digital workspace.
As the workforce continues to adapt to a work-from-home model, employees are beginning to wonder what happens if they get hurt on the job – now that their duties are carried out at home. Workplace accidents have the potential to send your financial future veering off track, making it incredibly important to understand your rights to Workers’ Compensation in a remote work setting.
Whether you find yourself conducting business in a traditional office setting or at your kitchen table, Hoffman Law Firm is here to put your mind at ease. Keep reading to learn more about your rights as a remote worker, and if you’ve been injured, contact our Workers’ Compensation attorneys today.
Workers’ Compensation and Teleworkers
The COVID-19 pandemic motivated businesses to consider new methods of operation, not only shifting their perspective about how work is done, but where. To understand your rights as a teleworker, our Charleston law firm has provided a brief breakdown of the Workers’ Compensation system and its impact on remote workers.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation insurance provides cash benefits and/or medical care for employees who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their employment. It covers costs related to medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Remote Workers?
Workers’ Comp insurance typically covers any injury that “arises out of and in the course of employment.” This includes any injury that takes place during work hours due to a work-related activity. Whether you work solely at home, in an office, or on a hybrid schedule, you have a right to submit a Workers’ Compensation claim if an injury occurs.
A work-related injury is simply any injury related to your employment, regardless of where it occurs. Courts have found that an employer’s lack of control over the conditions of an employee’s home-based office bears no precedent if an injury occurs. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment, whether it’s a formal job site or a worker’s residence.
Most Common Work-from-Home Injuries
Your work environment at home looks very different from the one found in an office. For instance, the potential of tripping over your child’s toys while on a client call is far greater at home than in a designated workspace. In fact, the most common work-from-home injuries are from cumulative injuries and slips, trips, and falls.
Cumulative injuries are damaging and painful injuries that are a direct result of repetitive movement and general overuse. For the remote employee, these injuries can take many forms, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Other conditions affecting muscles, tendons, and nerves
Cumulative injuries are often the result of a less-than-ideal workstation that puts added strain on your neck, wrists, or other body parts. If you find that you have developed painful injuries from work-related movement, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Workers’ Comp lawyer near you for a consultation today.
Slips, Trips, and Falls at Home
According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls remain one of the most frequently reported accidents in the U.S. While closely related, there are subtle differences between the three:
- Slip: Losing your footing or balance
- Trip: Losing your balance due to a body part coming in contact with a fixed object
- Fall: Occurring as the result of a slip or trip, or in response to a missing or failed support or foundation
In an office setting, hazards that can lead to a slip, trip, or fall can be closely monitored – and quickly remedied. However, when your work joins your family at home, the potential for injury dramatically increases.
If you are the victim of a slip, trip, or fall that occurred while working from home, contact Hoffman Law Firm to guide you through the Workers’ Comp claims process. Our personal injury lawyers are here to help!
What to Do After a Work-from-Home Accident
If an accident occurs while working from home, navigating the claim process on your own can be a daunting task. Our experienced legal team has built our reputation on trust and good service, taking your fears and worries into our hands – so you’re not left to bear the burden alone. Below we’ve mapped out the Workers’ Comp claim process, helping make it as stress-free as possible:
Workplace accident occurs.
At this stage, an accident or injury has occurred during work hours or while conducting a work activity. Workers’ Comp is a no-fault system, which means that you’re eligible for compensation even if you were to blame for the accident.
Injury is reported to the employer.
If you get hurt on the job, the incident must be reported to your employer immediately. At this stage, we will reach out to your employer on your behalf or advise you on how to properly file the report.
Medical treatment is received.
The personal injury attorney assigned to your case will contact your employer’s insurance company for a list of in-network approved physicians to assess your injury. You will then receive care from a doctor on the list.
A Workers’ Comp claim is filed.
Communication with insurance companies and navigating the legal system can be tricky, which is why your Workers’ Comp attorney will file a claim with your employer’s insurance company on your behalf.
Benefits are paid out – or not.
As the point of contact between your employer and the insurance company, we will guide you through the claims process from start to finish, advocating for you each step of the way. If the claim is approved, you will receive the benefits you deserve. If not, we will work with you to file an appeal, if necessary.
Contact Hoffman Law Firm to Guide You in Your Worker’s Comp Claim!
The rise of remote work has given employees the freedom to find a healthy work-life balance, accomplishing their job duties while attending to their personal needs and goals. However, this new means of working has raised questions when it comes to protection from on-the-job injuries.
At Hoffman Law Firm, we want to remove the stress associated with a Workers’ Compensation claim by giving you and your loved ones peace of mind moving forward. Whether your Workers’ Comp claim has been denied or are unsure if filing one is the right step for you, our Workers’ Comp lawyers near you are here to help. From initial injury to payout, we will be right by your side at every stage, fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.
Located in Charleston, SC, our personal injury lawyers at Hoffman Law Firm have extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases. Schedule your free consultation today to meet with a member of our team.
Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation right here in the Lowcountry, including these practice areas:
More Helpful Blogs: