A remote work setup does not make you immune to occupational injuries. Dangers such as ergonomic damage, slips, falls and other hazards are present anywhere, even at your home. Claiming workers’ compensation could help cover the costs of medical bills. However, you face the unique challenge of proving that you were injured while performing your duties.
Securing workers’ comp for remote worker injuries
Generally, New Jersey entitles remote workers like yourself to workers’ compensation for occupational injuries or illnesses. The requirements stay the same: the injury or illness must have arisen out of and in the course of your employment. However, proving this could pose a challenge if your incident happened outside the company premises.
Simply claiming that you were injured while on the clock is not enough. After all, remote work can blur the line between your workspace and your personal space. To help your case, there are certain steps you could take.
Report your injury immediately
After sustaining an injury, do not delay seeking medical attention. Your medical records or doctor’s note can help dispel any doubts that your claims are not true. Once you are able, make sure to inform your HR representative or supervisor about the situation.
Put your report in writing and add documentation if possible. Records or evidence demonstrating that you were working at the time of your accident may help your case. Emails, phone call logs or responses on team communications could reveal the time and date of activity.
Take photos of your work area
There is a chance that your employer may challenge your claim and suggest that your home office presents a safety hazard. To counter such allegations, it can help to have visual proof of your workspace. Photos and videos can help show that your work area is risk-free and in compliance with your employer’s remote work practices.
What happens after you report an injury?
After filing your claim, your employer should forward the report to their insurance provider. From there, you can expect an insurance adjuster to contact you for an interview and to gather other necessary documents. Their role is crucial in the approval or rejection of your claim.
Eligibility for workers’ comp benefits doesn’t guarantee a smooth process. Confusing state laws is an additional obstacle. If you are feeling lost or facing roadblocks with your claim, consider consulting an attorney experienced in navigating these challenges.