“Discover Essential Insights: Remote Worker Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims”
Remote work has become increasingly popular for employees and employers alike. However, one drawback is the complexity surrounding workers’ compensation claims for remote workers. Although they may not be physically present in the workplace, remote workers can still sustain injuries while performing their job duties. According to attorney Brandon Jubelirer, most at-home injuries during work hours are covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act. However, insurers can be quick to deny at-home injury claims. Therefore, it is crucial for remote workers to promptly report and thoroughly document any work-related injuries. Furthermore, deviations from job duties may affect the eligibility for compensation, highlighting the importance of staying focused on work tasks while at home.
Full Article: “Discover Essential Insights: Remote Worker Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims”
Are At-Home Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Despite the growing popularity of remote work, there are still concerns when it comes to workers’ compensation claims for injuries that occur outside of the traditional workplace. While most at-home injuries are covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act, insurance carriers can be quick to deny these claims. To navigate this issue, there are three important factors to consider.
1. 5 Legal Elements Apply Whether Injury Occurred at Work or at Home
Under the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act, the same five legal elements must be met for an injury claim to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These elements include:
- Existence of an employer-employee relationship
- A physical or mental injury
- Injury occurring in the course of employment
- Injury arising out of the worker’s employment
- Injury cannot be self-inflicted
If an injured employee meets these criteria, regardless of where the injury occurred, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
2. Remote Worker Injuries Face Increased Scrutiny
Work-from-home injury claims often face heightened scrutiny from workers’ compensation insurance carriers. To ensure a successful claim, it is crucial for employees to promptly report the injury and provide thorough documentation. Insurers may question a lack of evidence or a delay in reporting, as they want to avoid paying for injuries that aren’t work-related.
In addition, insurance companies may question whether the employee was deviating from their normal job duties at the time of the injury. If there was any deviation, the claim is likely to be denied as the deviation likely contributed to the injury.
3. Did the Worker Deviate from Their Job Duties?
The key question in work-from-home injury cases is whether the worker deviated from their job duties. If an injury occurs while an employee is performing a personal task or has strayed from their job duties, the claim may be denied. However, if the injury is directly connected to the employee’s job duties, benefits may be awarded.
Deviation examples provided by attorney Brandon Jubelirer include leaving the desk to play with a child, taking a break to help with remote learning, getting intoxicated while on the clock, or being involved in a motor vehicle accident while running a personal errand.
There are exceptions to deviation, such as lunch breaks or designated breaks agreed upon by the employer, as well as short breaks for personal comfort. Each alleged deviation in a work-from-home injury case depends on the specific facts of the case and does not always constitute poor judgment or negligence.
Overall, while remote work offers many benefits, it also presents unique challenges for workers’ compensation claims. Understanding the criteria for coverage and potential scrutiny from insurers is essential for both employees and employers.
Summary: “Discover Essential Insights: Remote Worker Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims”
Remote work has become increasingly popular, but it also presents challenges when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. While most at-home injuries suffered during job duties are covered under workers’ compensation, insurers may still deny claims. To qualify for benefits, an injured employee must meet certain criteria, regardless of where the injury occurred. Work-from-home injury claims are subject to increased scrutiny, and employees should report them immediately and provide thorough documentation. The key question in determining eligibility is whether the injury resulted from a deviation from job duties. Overall, remote worker injuries require careful consideration to navigate workers’ compensation claims successfully.
Frequently Asked Questions:
FAQs: 3 Things You Need to Know About Remote Worker Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims
1. What are the common types of injuries remote workers may experience?
Remote workers, also known as telecommuters or home-based employees, have an increased risk of certain injuries due to their unique work environment. Some common types of injuries that remote workers may experience include:
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) caused by prolonged computer usage, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis in the wrists or hands.
- Eyestrain and vision-related problems due to extended screen time, inadequate lighting, or poor ergonomics.
- Musculoskeletal issues like back pain or neck pain caused by poor posture or improper setup of workstations.
- Tripping or falling accidents within their home or workspace, leading to sprains, strains, or fractures.
It is important for remote workers to be aware of these potential risks and take preventive measures to maintain a safe and healthy work environment.
2. Are remote workers eligible for workers’ compensation if they sustain injuries while working?
Yes, remote workers are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain injuries while performing work-related activities. Workers’ compensation laws vary by jurisdiction, but in most cases, remote workers are considered employees and are entitled to the same rights and protections as those working in traditional office settings.
However, it is crucial for remote workers to understand that not all injuries sustained at home or during work hours may be covered. To be eligible for workers’ compensation, the injury must have occurred in the course and scope of employment. This means that the injury must be directly related to the performance of work duties and not due to personal activities or outside factors.
Remote workers should promptly report any work-related injuries to their employers and seek medical attention as necessary to ensure proper documentation and coverage under workers’ compensation.
3. What steps can remote workers take to prevent injuries and promote a safe working environment?
To prevent injuries and promote a safe working environment, remote workers can follow these essential steps:
- Ensure a proper and ergonomic workstation setup, including an adjustable chair, ergonomically positioned computer and accessories, and good lighting.
- Take regular breaks to stretch, move around, and rest your eyes to reduce the risk of RSIs and eyestrain.
- Maintain good posture while working and use tools like standing desks or ergonomic aids if possible.
- Create a dedicated workspace separate from living areas to minimize distractions and potential hazards.
- Implement regular exercise routines and engage in physical activities to strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems.
- Stay connected and communicate with colleagues and supervisors to address any concerns or challenges and maintain a supportive work environment.
By implementing these preventive measures and practicing good ergonomics, remote workers can reduce the chances of injuries and promote their overall health and well-being.