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Can I Collect Workers' Compensation Benefits If I Was Injured While Working From Home?

 Posted on November 03,2022 in Workers' Compensation

Gilroy, CA workers' compensation lawyerOver the last few years, more and more employers have embraced the idea of allowing their employees to work from home. What started as a necessity during the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns has become a new normal for many companies in California and around the country.

But what happens when an employee who works from home gets injured while on the clock? Is that person still eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits? If it is possible to get benefits, will being a work-from-home employee complicate the case? The answers to these questions, as with most legal concerns, depend on the specifics of the situation.

Working From Home Makes Your Home Your Workplace

The first thing to understand is that, if you are injured while working from home, your home is considered your workplace. That means that the same rules and regulations that apply to traditional workplaces also apply to work-from-home setups.

For example, if you trip and fall in your home office while working and suffer an injury, you would likely be eligible for workers' compensation benefits just as if you had tripped and fallen at a traditional office building. The same is true of any other type of accident or injury that occurs while you are working from home.

Proving Your Injury Happened While You Were Working

However, there is one key difference between work-from-home injuries and injuries that occur in traditional workplaces: it can be more difficult to prove that the injury occurred while you were working. This is because, when you are injured at a traditional workplace, there are usually witnesses who can attest to the fact that you were on the job when the accident happened. But, when you are injured at home, there may not be anyone who saw the accident occur.

With this in mind, it is important to keep detailed records of your work-from-home schedule and activities from the very beginning. If possible, you should also take photos or videos of your home office setup. This will help to establish that you were working at the time of the accident and make it easier to get the workers' compensation benefits you need.

You will also need to show that the injury was sustained in the course of performing your job. For example, if you stood up to use the bathroom and tripped over your office chair, this would likely be a compensable injury. However, if you took a break, went to fix a snack in the kitchen, and burned yourself, you would probably not be entitled to work comp benefits for your burn injury.

What If I Work for Myself?

If you are self-employed, you are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This is because workers' compensation in California is a type of insurance that is provided by employers to their employees. However, if you are injured while working for yourself from home, you may still be able to get other types of benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance or private disability insurance.

The best way to find out what benefits you may be eligible for is to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Your lawyer will be able to review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

A Santa Clara County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help

For more information about seeking workers’ compensation benefits for an injury you sustained while working from home, contact a Gilroy work-from-home accident attorney at Cramer + Martinez. Call 408-848-1113 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team and get the answers you need to whatever questions you may have. Let us help you protect your rights.


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