The COVID-19 pandemic has made thousands of Oklahomans remote workers, either temporarily or, in some cases, permanently. This can raise some unexpected issues such as: what happens if I am injured at home while working? Am I covered by workers’ comp or my own health insurance? The answer to that depends on the particular facts of your case.
Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Criteria
The workers’ compensation system covers injuries -- physical, mental, and emotional -- that occur in the course of employment. Proving an employer’s fault for a work-related illness or injury is not necessary since Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws are based solely on strict liability.
Most injuries that occur at the workplace can be categorized as work-related, including injuries that occur in company-owned vehicles or at other locations so long as an employee is doing something that is job-related. Even workers injured while attending social events that are sponsored by their employer are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
When it comes to an injury sustained while working at home, your eligibility for workers’ compensation will depend on whether your injury was work-related. Proving that it was can be complicated, especially when the injury could have, in theory, occurred at home when you were not working.
To determine if an injury is work-related regardless of where the injury occurred, you will likely need to show that:
- Your employer was benefiting from your actions when the injury occurred.
- Your employer required you to engage in the activity that caused the injury.
- Your employer approved your off-site work activity in advance.
If you can justify how your injury was work-related, chances are that you will be approved for workers’ comp benefits.
Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Benefits
Employees are generally compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and other types of losses that are incurred after being hurt at work. Workers’ compensation also provides injured workers with temporary and permanent disability benefits based on the severity and duration of the injury or illness.
It is usually much easier to prove a workers’ comp claim when you are injured at work than if you are injured while working from home, but that should not stop you from pursuing a claim. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way most of us do our jobs, which means you may face less scrutiny than usual for an at-home injury. Most employers understand the need to maintain basic protections for their workers in order to keep their businesses running.
Since laws regarding COVID-19 are rapidly evolving, it is important for you to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to advise you on the latest changes to Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system and help you fight for your rights.
Have you been injured at work? Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Let our team stand by your side throughout the workers’ compensation claim process to ensure you are fully compensated for your work-related injuries. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.