It’s Monday morning, the start of another glorious week of working from my home. I will just grab my cup of coffee and head upstairs to my home office to log on. A quick check of my calendar and my to-do list, and the day begins. Oh, but wait! I forgot to add the all-important splash of vanilla latte creamer to my coffee, so back downstairs I go. I’m heading back to my desk from the kitchen when I trip over my dog lying at the top of the stairs, causing me to spill my coffee and burn my hand. Ouch! I head to the sink to run cold water on the burn and, in the process, step on my child’s rogue Lego and fall. If you have ever stepped on a Lego piece with bare feet, you know that the pain is excruciating!
Unfortunately, this chaotic scenario may be all too common today, as more and more employees work from home. It certainly begs the question: Are injuries sustained while an employee is working from home covered under the employer’s occupational injury benefit plan? The answer is grounded in consistent claim investigations and consistent interpretation of plan definitions, and it just may surprise you.
As an employer or defense counsel for Texas Option liability cases, you may be familiar with this situation: You have just received a lawsuit asserting negligence liability for a work-related injury that happened two years ago. You reach out to the program’s third party administrator (TPA) to obtain the initial liability investigation – only to find out that a liability investigation does not exist. You are suddenly faced with the dilemma of finding witnesses/managers that are probably long gone and finding/inspecting equipment that has likely been discarded or has two more years of wear and tear.
For PartnerSource clients, most Texas work injury programs only see 1.5% of all work-related injury claims receive an attorney letter asserting negligence liability – and only 0.4% of work-related injury claims resulting in an actual lawsuit or arbitration demand. However, how you handle these claims can make or break your program.
So often, companies associate a work injury as being the result of an accident, an event external to the employee that occurs at a specific time and place. What happens when the injured worker describes the onset of pain after completing work tasks over a period of time, or perhaps a reaction after being exposed to something in the workplace? PartnerSource offers clients valuable insight by digging deeper to consider everything a client’s plan makes available to them.
Born and raised in Junction City, Kansas, working remotely is something this account manager did long before the pandemic. She puts her educational skills to good use when helping clients select insurance, and she loves to connect through sports.
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