The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of changes to our daily lives. For many people, one of those changes is that their office is now a room in their home. Unfortunately, workplace injuries don’t automatically go away now that the workplace is your kitchen table. Luckily, neither does the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, which protects your right to compensation for work-related injuries.
Can you get workers’ comp. if you were injured while working remotely? It depends. Let’s look at some of the common questions people have about it.
Can you get workers’ comp. benefits for your work-from-home injury?
In order for a workers’ compensation claim to be viable, you must be able to show that the injury or illness was caused while you were doing work for your employer. For example, someone whose work involves a lot of typing may develop carpal tunnel.
Remember, workers’ compensation benefits are paid out by your employer’s workers’ comp. insurance carrier. The insurance company’s goal is to find any reason to deny you benefits, so the most important thing is being able to prove to them (and possibly to an arbitrator) definitively that your injury happened in the course of your employment, not independently of it.
What should you do if you are injured while working from home?
First and foremost, seek the appropriate medical attention. Even if an injury seems minor to you, it may get worse the longer you ignore it.
You should also report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. Usually, you will report an injury to your supervisor or HR representative, but procedures will differ from one company to the next. It is highly important that your company has documentation of the incident on their records. You may want to either ask for written confirmation or report via email so that you have written proof of the correspondence.
It is also a good idea to mention to your doctor that you were injured in the course of working from home – that way it is on their records as well.
Lastly, you should reach out to an attorney to help you file your claim. The process of filing a claim for workers’ comp. benefits can be complex and intimidating, and a good workers’ compensation lawyer will help you navigate this so that you get the best possible results.
What happens after you report your injury and file a claim?
From there, your claim will proceed like any other workers’ comp. claim: you will have to follow up with medical professionals, some of whom will be experts hired by the insurance carrier. On my end, as your lawyer, I will work on making sure the insurance carrier either pre-approves or compensates you for any necessary medical care related to your work injury, as well as any lost wages if your injury makes you temporarily or permanently unable to work.
Of course, I hope that you never suffer a work injury and none of this information ever becomes necessary for you. Unfortunately, however, work-related injuries do happen, no matter where you work. If it ever does happen to you, it is important that you know your rights and your best course of action.
If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at the Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond or contact us on our website here.