13 May 2020
5 Critical Steps to Take if Injured While Working from Home
Posted By Darrigo & Diaz
Stay-at-home orders and remote working have become a new reality for many Tampa residents. Darrigo & Diaz have been inundated with calls from concerned workers. Many of you have inquired about whether or not workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries sustained while working at home, and how to go about filing a claim for such an injury.
This blog attempts to answer some of the frequent questions we’ve encountered.
Does workers’ compensation coverage apply when working from home?
When working from home, you’re officially “on the clock,” which means your home is now your workplace. For workers’ compensation liability purposes, whenever you are working from home you are covered by the same workers’ compensation insurance that protects you when sitting at a desk in an office. Whether you’re working on a laptop in bed or sitting at a desk in your home office, you’re covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Am I only covered during working hours?
Generally, yes. True to its name, workers’ compensation only covers you if you are within the scope of employment. You can’t be engaged in an activity that is uniquely for personal benefit (such as watching television or exercising) and still be covered by workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an injury. That said, whenever you are engaged in the act of working (whether at four in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon), you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Consider the following scenario:
You’re working from home and most of your workplace duties are completed using a computer stationed on a standing desk you have in your home office. In the unfortunate event that the standing desk tips over and lands on your foot, you’re covered by workers’ compensation insurance if you were working at the time of the accident.
However, if you were in the middle of an online yoga class when the desk tipped over and the injury occurred, although the desk is primarily used for your work activities, you would not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
What types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
Most people tend to think of physical injuries when considering accident scenarios that could occur while working from home. And most of the workers’ compensation claims we encounter that involve injuries sustained while working from home are indeed physical.
However, injuries are not always on account of a sudden accident, and do not necessarily happen immediately. In many cases, workplace injuries occur over time.If a worker were to develop a condition due to repetitive physical stress such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or aggravate a pre-existing migraine condition due to working at home and staring at a laptop computer all day, both scenarios would constitute a covered workers’ compensation claim.
What to do if you’ve been injured while working from home
There are 5 critical steps you should take in the event you are injured while working from home.
- Report the incident to your employer immediately.
- Photograph your injury and the area where the accident occurred.
- Seek medical attention.
- If you’re unable to work, obtain all the wage benefits that you’re entitled to.
- Contact an experienced Tampa workers’ compensation attorney about your options.
Contact an experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer today
If you need help asserting your legal rights after a work at home accident in the Tampa area, contact our Tampa workplace injury attorneys immediately. Through our remote services, you can meet with us and hire us without ever leaving your home. We’re available 24/7 and offer free consultations.
To learn more, set up a remote or in-person consultation now.