The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers employees who suffer injuries arising out of and in the course of their employment. A common mistaken belief is that you have to suffer an injury on your employer’s premises in order to qualify for work comp benefits. That is not a requirement under the law. Many workers are forced to travel away from their employer’s premises as part of their job. As long as you are performing work on behalf of your employer when you are injured, you might be eligible for work comp benefits to cover your injuries, no matter where the injury actually occurred.
This would include working from home as a remote employee. If you are working from your home, and you suffer an injury which arises out of and occurs in the course of your employment, you might be eligible for work comp benefits as a matter of law. These benefits could include payment of all related medical expenses, payment of temporary disability benefits, and a lump sum settlement for permanent impairment.
What should you do if you suffer a work injury while working from home? The first thing you should do is report the accident immediately to your employer. Given the lack of any witnesses, it will be very important to document the accident from the outset in writing. When reporting your injury, make sure you document exactly how your injury was related to the performance of your work duties. For example, if you trip and fall down your stairs at home while working, do not just report that you, “fell down the steps.” Make sure you note that you, “fell down the steps while on a conference call with a client.” These details relating your accident to work activities will be very important when the insurance company is determining whether you are eligible for benefits. So, this proof in writing could be crucial if you are stuck needing to prove that your accident happened as a result of a work injury as opposed to something unrelated.
After reporting the accident, get medical treatment immediately. Do not wait to get treatment. The longer you wait, the easier it will be for the insurance company to argue that you are not hurt as badly as you claim, or that your injury is not actually related to the work accident. When in doubt, get the treatment. Then, make sure you give a consistent history to the medical providers of exactly how your accident happened. What you tell the medical providers at your initial appointments is often the most important evidence in the entire case.
If you are working remotely from home, and you suffer an injury, you may be entitled to work comp benefits. Do not hesitate to contact Brent Eames to discuss your rights to make sure you are protected.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd.