It is widely known that workers’ compensation is available for most employees that suffer an injury or illness while working. However, with countless Americans working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lines get blurry regarding what workers are entitled to if they endure a work-related injury outside company premises. Luckily, the location of the incident may not matter – you could be able to recover workers’ compensation if injured even while working from home.
In both North Carolina and South Carolina, workers’ compensation is essentially due to anyone injured while carrying out a work-related duty. Just as you could slip and fall at the office or hurt your back lifting, you could do so in the same context of your home. Likewise, repetitive stress injuries associated with constant clicking and typing on your computer aren’t limited just to the office environment. Other common work-from-home injuries reported in North Carolina include slip-and-fall injuries, neck and back injuries, and electric shocks or burns. That said, many work-related injuries could occur either on company grounds or while working from home with the same severity. As long as you can prove that the injury happened while performing a work-related task, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation. Here are your options for seeking workers’ compensation for an injury sustained working from home, based on your state:
In North Carolina, you are required to show that your injury directly resulted from a work-related task. Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all businesses with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance for purposes of paying workers’ compensation benefits to injured employees. However, employees injured while working from home should approach the workers’ compensation process carefully. To file a workers’ compensation for a work-from-home-related injury, you should:
- Be prepared to prove that you were asked or required by your employer to perform the work task that led to your injury. You must also prove that your employer approved the activity leading to your injury.
- Notify your employer of your injury, both orally and in written form, as soon as possible.
- See a doctor for your injury as soon as you can for the sake of your health and well-being, as well as the credibility of your case.
- Report your injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission and carefully fill out all workers’ compensation forms on the NCIC’s website.
- Save all evidence of your medical intervention. This includes medical and pharmacy bills, proof of mileage traveled to and from the doctor, and all other pieces of documentation. The more documentation you have and can present, the stronger your case will be.
- Hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to oversee this entire process. With their expertise, your chances of receiving workers’ compensation for your work-from-home injury can increase exponentially.
In South Carolina, the burden of proving that a workplace injury took place while working from home is entirely on the employee. However, that doesn’t mean it can be without professional assistance or that these unique cases are invalid. Therefore, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina is especially helpful when seeking compensation for a work-related accident endured outside company premises. To file a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina for your experience, you must:
- Confirm that the accident happened after receiving permission to work from home from your employer. Additionally, you must prove that you were on the clock or carrying out a work-related duty in the event of your injury.
- Notify your employer immediately of your injury, orally and in written form, for documentation purposes.
- Seek medical attention and save all evidence of your appointments as outlined previously to solidify your case further.
- To file a claim, you must a Form 50 to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- If your employer disputes your claim or refuses to report your accident, you should consult with a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. As the burden of proving your case is on you, professional representation is beneficial to file a hearing request for your claim.
What if My Employer Denies My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In North and South Carolina and beyond, many employers are unlawfully leveraging the impact of the pandemic to deny employees workers’ compensation they are entitled to by law. In the event that your employer denies you workers’ compensation benefits for your work-related injury or refuses to report your injury, you should consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately for your best chance at compensation. The experienced attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson have been serving the good people of the Carolinas since 1979 and know just how quickly this pandemic has changed the course of all our lives. If you or a loved one have been injured while working from home and are struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits you need, submit a web inquiry here or call our main office toll-free at 800-533-6845 for a free legal consultation today.