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Why is proving at-home work injuries a challenge?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

You and many other New York workers may have found yourselves at home and on your computer more over the last year than ever before. On the other hand, maybe you are an employee with years of telecommuting experience. Whichever the case, you know that working from home does not necessarily make work life easier.

In many cases, individuals who work from home face risks of injury that employees in a traditional workplace could also face. From repetitive strain injuries that happen over time, like carpal tunnel syndrome, to sudden accidents, like falling in your office, dangers exist.

What if you suffer an injury at home?

One of the biggest concerns that remote employees may have is whether they could receive workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury in the course of their work-related duties. Of course, like most ambiguous situations, the answer is maybe. If you have suffered injuries that you believe your employer’s workers’ comp insurance should cover, the burden of proof falls to you. This means you will need to prove the following:

  • You were performing work-related duties at the time of the injury
  • You suffered the injury during work hours

In a traditional workplace, proving these details may not seem difficult, because you would likely have witnesses (co-workers or managers). Additionally, if you are in the workplace, you are likely there during work hours. Unfortunately, proving these elements becomes more difficult with an at-home injury.

Lack of witnesses

Likely, as you perform your work-related duties from home, you work alone. You may have a room in your house designated as your home office, but you may not have much in that room apart from a desk, your computer equipment and maybe some shelves. As a result, if you fall while getting up from your desk or if you suffer a back injury from continually sitting during work hours, you may not have a witness who can attest to how the injury occurred.

The challenge becomes proving that the injury happened while you were working. You might need to find other avenues of evidence to help support your claim so you can get the compensation you deserve.

An experienced workers’ compensation firm can assist you in compiling and presenting the best evidence to support your at-home injury claim.