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Seeking workers’ comp for injuries sustained remotely
Although fewer Americans are working remotely than were working remotely in 2020 and 2021, there are still millions of adults who are operating out of home offices, shared meeting spaces and coffee shops across the Golden State and the rest of the U.S.
When Californians who are working remotely get hurt, they may be – very understandably – confused about whether they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. After all, they were working when they got hurt but it seems counter-intuitive to ask an employer to file paperwork related to an injury that happened in an off-site location.
It is important to understand that the California workers’ comp system is far less concerned with “where” and “how” an employee gets hurt than it is about the question of “whether” the harm at issue was sustained while the victim was engaged in work-related activities.
How these claims differ
As a result of the system’s concern regarding the work-related nature of a particular injury, claims submitted by workers who are operating remotely tend to be complex in ways that “traditional” on-site injury claims are not: They are harder to prove.
Let’s say that you’re on a call with a client and you reach over to your filing cabinet to grab some records that are stored on paper, not online. When opening the filing cabinet drawer, you slice your hand open so significantly that you’ll be unable to type for weeks. It is likely that a workers’ comp claims adjuster is going to seek proof that you didn’t injure yourself during the ordinary course of your off-the-clock day.
Because remote-related claims are harder to prove, seeking legal guidance can be helpful. Without it, you may find the process of securing proof to be more challenging than you’re up to managing on your own.