Work From Home Accident and Injuries: A Florida Lawyer for Telecommuting Accidents
More people are working from home than ever before. Some people have the luxury of a home office, and others are working from their kitchen table. But as technology progresses, many businesses are looking to reduce their overheard by having employees work from home. What happens if you trip and fall over a computer cord when you get up from your desk at home? What about if you slip and fall walking into your kitchen to get a cup of coffee? Florida’s workers compensation laws can require your employer to provide you with medical care and wage benefits if you are injured while working at home. The workers comp attorneys at our firm will take the guesswork out of your accident claim.
When is Your Work from Home Accident Covered by Florida’s Workers Compensation Laws?
For any work injury to be covered by Florida’s workers compensation laws, the accident and injury must “arise out of” your employment, and have occurred during the “course and scope” of your employment. “Arise out of” is defined in Florida Statutes §440.02(36) as requiring some connection between your accident and injury, and the duties you are performing for your work.
What are examples of accidents arising out of your employment?
- Trip over a computer or a printer cord, or some other piece of equipment you are using for your work
- Pain in your back, neck, wrists or hands from working at a poorly designed work station
- Walking through your home and tripping while carrying documents or items used for work
- Slip and fall or trip and fall over an uneven surface in your home
The “course and scope” of your employment means you are performing a task that benefits your employer. This could be sitting at your desk when you cut yourself, or your chair breaks, or it can occur as you are moving about your office or work area at home.
Are Remote Workers Entitled to Compensation if You Are Injured While Taking a Short Break at Home?
Florida’s workers compensation laws include the “personal comfort doctrine”. The personal comfort doctrine provides workers compensation benefits to workers when they take a break for their personal comfort or health. The reason breaks can be covered by Florida’s workers compensation laws is your employer obtains a benefit by allowing you to go to the bathroom, get coffee, or just stand up and stretch your legs. The thought is that a happy and comfortable employee is a productive employee. What type of breaks are covered by the Personal Comfort Doctrine:
- Coffee breaks
- Bathroom breaks
- A temporary break to walk around and stretch your legs
- Lunch breaks
If you are injured while taking a break from your at-home job, you can be entitled to workers compensation as long as your break time is simply a rest period for yourself, and doesn’t become something like a personal errand, i.e. going to pick up groceries on your rest break.
What Workers Compensation Benefits Can I Receive if I Telecommute?
Depending on the type and severity of your accident, you are entitled to receive medical care, lost wages, and a worker’s compensation settlement in certain cases. Attorneys handling Florida workers compensation claims can help guide you through the complicated and frustrating workers compensation claim process. If you are injured while working from home, you are entitled to:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- MRI, X rays and other diagnostic testing
- Job retraining
- Accommodations at work to allow you to work light duty
- Settlement of your claim
Top 5 Steps To Take After a Work at Home Accident in Florida
Like all workers compensation injuries, the first step in obtaining medical care and lost wages is to report your accident to your employer. The employer is then required to report your accident and injury to the workers compensation insurance company. If you are injured after a work at home accident, make sure you:
- Report the accident and injury to your employer right away
- Take photographs of the injury(ies) or the area where you were injured
- See a doctor/Report all your injuries to the doctor
- If you are unable to work, make sure you obtain all the wage benefits you are entitled to
- Speak with a Florida workers compensation lawyer about your home accident injury compensation
Contact Fort Lauderdale Workers Compensation Lawyer Joseph Maus Today
If you need help asserting your legal rights after a work at home accident in the Fort Lauderdale area, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free initial consultation with attorney Joseph Maus, call us at 855-999-5297 or request an appointment online today.