Minnesota employees may be interested in understanding more about how some workers have successfully obtained compensation claims after getting injured while at home or off-site. Consultants in the industry claim that the virtual work sector is becoming institutionalized and appears to be a new permanent fixture in our economy. Similarly to conventional occupations, the success of telework typically hinges on mutual accountability and trust existing between the employer and employee.
There have been court cases involving injuries suffered while working at home within the past 15 years, but many of these incidents go unreported. During 2010, an Oregon woman, who fell over her dog while she was walking to the garage for fabric samples, was able to recover workers’ comp claim after being denied due to argument that her injury occurred in the course of working. A man awaiting a package for work was also able to collect on a claim after he slipped on ice at home and became quadriplegic because he was salting the driveway for a postal delivery worker when the incident occurred.
Both of these claims were initially denied but ultimately overturned in a court of appeals. Many experts agree that the most dangerous aspects of telework usually involve a motor vehicle, but this type of employment usually helps workers avoid more accidents than many other jobs. There are advocacy groups sponsoring safe driving initiatives already, and many agree that the telework industry could still benefit from improved health and safety standards.
Employees who need more information about how to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim usually benefit from confiding in a lawyer. Legal counsel might be equipped to help ensure that injured workers obtain medical treatment and wage benefits that are sufficient. Lawyers may also help protect injured employees from retaliation by an employer.