Man Injured En Route From Bedroom To Home Office Files WC Claim
COVID has created a new normal and not everyone likes it. One interest group that is having a major issue right now is workers’ compensation insurers. They are being forced to pay claims related to remote employees’ “workplace” injuries. In one instance, a man injured himself after tripping on his way from his bed to his at-home office. His company’s insurer is now being asked to pick up the tab after a court in Germany ruled in his favor.
Germans have a much more expansive workers’ compensation system than America does. In Germany, your employer is responsible even when you’re on your way to work. The American courts have routinely denied these claims. This is important because the German court ruled that the man “commuted” from his bedroom to his in-house office. Since “commuting” is covered in Germany, that man’s claim was compensable.
While that is not true in America, the American courts have ruled on various matters that could support a similar claim even if it occurred off-premises in a workers’ own home.
Workers’ compensation doesn’t like this and neither will workers
You may think it’s great to be compensated for tripping over your pile of filth, but you probably don’t like being micromanaged by your employer at the behest of their workers’ compensation insurer. Yet that is exactly what you can expect if employers are liable for injuries that occur within your home. Since employers are liable, they can force workers to clean their bedrooms, ensure that there is no mess in the home, and otherwise inspect it the same way they would a public building. So, there is going to be a trade-off and it’s going to be a trade-off that workers will not like.
As of now, however, the standards have yet to be put in place as the world adjusts itself to life during the pandemic. That means more workers are filing claims related to at-home injuries. Are these claims compensable? Sometimes they are, even if the reason you are injured is wholly your own fault. Obviously, the situation will not stay like this forever. A new standard will be created that is fair to both employers, their insurers, and the workers. However, as of now, if you trip on a pile of your own filth on your way to the coffee machine, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if you are “commuting” to your office from your bedroom, America still does not recognize that claim.
Regardless of whether your at-home work injury is compensable or not, you can guess correctly that an insurance company will fight the claim all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to avoid paying it. That means your claim will be more difficult to prove than a construction worker who was injured onsite. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to prove, only that the insurer has more leverage to fight the claim.
Talk to a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Payer Law can help you evaluate the merits of a workers’ compensation claim free of charge. Call our Miami workers’ compensation lawyers today to discuss your situation in more detail and we can discuss possible avenues to prove the claim.