Are Remote Work Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Aug 14, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Back pain from sitting too much

Many people have been working from home to help slow the spread of coronavirus and try to avoid contracting this potentially deadly disease. With this increase in remote work, there could be an increase in at-home injuries while people are on the clock.

This raises important questions about workers’ compensation. It may be harder to connect an at-home injury to your work and your employer may be more likely to challenge your claim because you were not in the office. It also less likely there were witnesses to your injury.

If you have been working remotely because of the pandemic and you were injured during work hours, our experienced attorneys may be able to help you pursue workers’ compensation benefits. The initial consultation comes with no obligation and it is entirely free.

Workers’ Comp When Working at Home

Virginia’s workers’ compensation system provides compensation for medical bills and lost wages for employees who suffer work-related injuries. Generally, that means if you are an employee who is on the clock and you get injured while doing your work, you are eligible for benefits.

The burden of proof for your claim is on you. That means it is up to you and your Richmond workers’ compensation attorney to prove you were engaged in work-related activities when the injury occurred.

This could be more challenging for an injury that occurs during offsite activities or remote work. Even if there are witnesses, they are likely to be friends or family members – your employer and its workers’ comp insurer may claim they are biased in your favor. Most people do not have security cameras in their homes, so it is unlikely you will have video footage of the accident.

What if I was Injured While Away from My Desk?

At-home injuries might not occur while you are in your home office or designated workspace. You may slip and fall on the way to the kitchen for a snack or on the way to the bathroom.

This raises questions about your eligibility for benefits – walking to the kitchen is not really a work-related task. However, if you were in the office and you were injured while on your lunch break in the company breakroom, you are likely eligible for benefits. The same rationale likely applies to injuries that occur during remote work.

However, employers often set guidelines or rules about working from home. For example, they may require you to have a designated workspace and prohibit you from working in a location that may be distracting, such as in front of the TV or on your couch. They may also prohibit you from doing household chores. If you violated these guidelines and your employer or its insurer can prove it, you may be ineligible for benefits.

Your employer may have also set some safety requirements for at-home work to help reduce the risk of injury. For example, you may be required to have an ergonomic workspace to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome or neck and back injuries.

A key factor to consider is how clearly-stated your employer’s work-at-home guidelines are. If they were only mentioned in passing and not written down in a company handbook or email, they may not be enforceable.

Preserving Your Workers’ Comp Claim

As with any other workers’ compensation claim, it is important to file a claim as soon as possible. You should also notify your employer about your injury immediately. Reporting things quickly helps to show the severity of the situation and leaves your employer and its insurer less room to dispute the validity of your claim.

You should also take pictures of your injuries and the location of the accident. If friends or family members witnessed the accident, have them write down what they remember. You should also write down what happened before you forget.

Learn more about preserving a workers’ compensation claim by reviewing our blog.

Find Out How We May be Able to Help You Pursue Benefits

Our experienced legal team knows you may have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim. We have helped many employees obtain benefits after a workplace injury and we are very familiar with what work injury victims want to know.

We are available to answer your questions in a free legal consultation at no obligation to you. Our firm does not charge upfront fees for representing you and we are not paid unless you receive compensation.

Review some of our client testimonials to see what our clients have to say about the representation we provided in their time of need.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    Are You Allowed To Travel While on Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?

    You suffer a workplace injury and successfully apply for benefits. While recovering, you consider going on vacation. After all, why should you stay home if you can’t work anyway? Traveling can improve your mental health, but are you allowed to travel while on workers’...

    Is a Workplace Injury Outside Normal Duties Covered?

    You may know that you can seek worker’s compensation for an accident that happens at work. But what if you were acting outside of your normal job duties when the accident occurred? Is it still covered? The answer depends on the accident circumstances and whether...

    What If My Workplace Injury Was My Coworker’s Fault?

    If you experienced an injury while completing your job duties, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation to cover your medical care and lost wages. But what happens if your coworker was responsible for your accident?  A Virginia workplace injury lawyer can...

    Are Any Employers Exempt From Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?

    Virginia law requires the majority of employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, which is responsible for compensating ill or injured workers. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you suffered a work-related injury, you’ll need to find out whether you...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald