Work Injuries in Home Offices
Now more than ever, people throughout Pennsylvania are working remotely. While there are many benefits to working from home, it is not without risk, and it is not uncommon for people to suffer injuries while working in their home offices. Although people who suffer work injuries are usually eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits, when an injury occurs outside a typical office environment, questions may arise as to whether the injury is compensable. If you were injured in a home office, you should speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The Scranton Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C. can advise employees as to whether they may be able to recover benefits based on work injuries in home offices. We can help you pursue a claim to help cover medical expenses and lost wages.Work Injuries in Home Offices
The injuries that occur in home offices are usually similar to those that occur in normal office environments. For example, a person working from home may develop carpal tunnel syndrome or another injury caused by repetitive motions, or they may develop back or neck issues. Or a person may suffer a muscle strain or sprain while recovering a package that was sent from a client or the person’s employer. Similarly, when moving about a home office or performing job duties while at home, a person may suffer a fall, which can lead to brain injuries, fractures, contusions, and a variety of other injuries.Recovering Benefits Following an Injury While Working Remotely
Under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act, most employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees who are injured at work. There are certain elements that must be proven for a person to be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits following an injury. First, the person must be an employee, since independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Generally, workers are presumed to be employees unless the employer proves that they are independent contractors. Additionally, an injury must be work-related, which means that it needs to occur while the employee is engaged in the scope and course of employment.
While employers often dispute the work-related nature of an injury under normal circumstances, they may be especially reluctant to provide an employee with workers’ compensation benefits if the employee suffers an injury at home. Fortunately, the Act provides that regardless of where an injury occurred, it will be compensable as long as the injured employee was actually engaged in an activity that furthered the affairs or business of the employer. In other words, if the employee was involved in completing job tasks or addressing work-related issues pursuant to their duties, the injury should be covered.
Key issues that may be analyzed when determining whether an employee suffered work-related harm include whether the employee had set working hours and, if he or she did, whether the injury happened within those hours. If so, it is more likely that the employee will be able to demonstrate that the injury occurred while the employee was working. Similarly, if the employee only worked in one location within the home that is deemed his or her office, and the injury occurred while the employee was in that location, it will likely weigh in the employee’s favor. Furthermore, the employee may have a strong claim if he or she can demonstrate that he or she was logged into a work network or produce other electronic evidence that indicates that he or she was working at the time of the incident.Contact an Experienced Scranton Attorney
Many people who suffer work injuries in home offices are eligible to recover benefits. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C. can help you pursue any medical or wage loss benefits that you may be owed from your employer. We assist people with workers’ compensation claims in the Scranton area and throughout Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Pike, Columbia, Lycoming, and Montour Counties. You can contact us to set up a free and confidential meeting at 888-536-2426 or through our online form.