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Who's Liable if You're Injured in a Home Office?

July 14, 2023 
by LA Injury Group

Are you injured in a home office? There are an increasing number of instances in which people work from home. The reasons for one working from home vary from one person to another. The reasons for working from home could include the employer having a flexible working policy in which their employees are working from home, the employee or employees suffering from a disease that could put the rest of the workers at risk, the employee being unable to work from the office as well as any other reason that the employee could provide to the employer.

Most people find working from home as being very comfortable, while others find it uncomfortable for the reason that various distractions could otherwise have an impact on one's productivity. The distractions could include the presence of spouses, children, and any other reason that could impact one's concentration.

Evidently, despite its advantages, working from home can have various disadvantages. The disadvantages include insufficient technologies to address the issues and the weaknesses mentioned above. Moreover, one of the things that bother people who work from home is the issue of liability in the event of an injury—just like other places, working from home risks being exposed to risk either to their lives or their capacity to attain the best results. These liability concerns, therefore, linger in the minds of the employees working from home.

In this blog, we aim to get an answer as to who should be responsible or liable if you are injured in a home office.

injured man using a mouse

Homeowner's Insurance Coverage:

If you have taken homeowners insurance coverage, you may be covered for liability if a person is injured in your home office. Homeowners insurance is therefore crucial in ensuring you do not have to individually shoulder responsibility for any liability. The scope and extent of the range shall vary from one homeowner's insurance coverage to the next. Moreover, the homeowner's insurance coverage shall be affected by the specific terms and conditions in the homeowner's insurance policies. Particular homeowner's insurance policies may have specific exclusions as to the extent of the coverage. Furthermore, certain ones may require you to take some additional insurance coverage for you to be fully insured for the various eventualities.

The above shows that you should carefully study your insurance policies to understand their limitations. By understanding the limits, you shall be better prepared to deal with whatever may befall you in your home office. By understanding your insurance coverage, you can make a decision efficiently when you encounter any difficulty getting compensated by the insurance company.

Injured in a Home Office | Employer Liability:

If you are an employee and your employer knows you are working from home, your employer may be called upon to compensate you in case of an injury in your home office. The damages should have been sustained while performing your duties as an employee. Injuries common in a home office environment may include but are not limited to tripping on the various appliances while performing your duties and any other harm that could emanate from your responsibilities as an employee. However, if your injuries were sustained when you were not working on a work-related task, your employer may not be responsible for the damages. However, you may challenge such a decision not to compensate you if you successfully argue that you could not have suffered such an injury had you not been working from the home office.

Third-Party Liability:

Someone may visit you while you are working from home. While visiting some visitors may be injured while they are within your home office. When such happens, you may be liable for the injury or harm they suffered while visiting you. This situation means that if a person gets injured while visiting your office for any valid and legal reason, they may successfully lodge a claim for compensation against you. It is, therefore, worth noting that you are exposed to the liability of compensating third parties who suffer harm in your home office during a work-related visit to someone else's property.

Waivers and Insurance:

It arises from the fact that there could be potential suits that people working from home may want to protect themselves from possible claims that may emanate when third parties get injured when they are coming to your home office for a work-related visit. Protecting oneself may include having the third parties sign waivers indicating that you shall not be liable for any injury suffered while they are at your premises. You may also protect yourself by getting additional insurance coverage covering third parties injured while visiting your premises on a work-related issue.

It follows from the above that you should speak to an experienced personal liability lawyer who shall guide you about your potential liabilities and how to deal with liability arising from work-related visits. The experienced personal liability lawyer will also advise you if you are facing a possible personal liability suit or having difficulties with the insurance company that insured you.

Prevention is Key:

It turns on the above facts that you should constantly be aware of the potential liabilities commonly witnessed when working from home. The most excellent way of protecting yourself is to prevent the instances with which you could be exposed to home-office penalties. The first step of getting to avoid dealing with them is through prevention. It would help if you were deliberate in ensuring a safe working environment. A safe working environment can reduce or minimize the chances of being exposed to such liabilities. Always ensure that your office is not littered with things that would likely result in you being injured. Also, ensure that your home office is adequately lit so that you can avoid tripping or someone tripping or hurting themselves in any other manner while they are at your home office. Ensure that the things that could make you stumble and injure yourself are well organized and that all the electric outlets at your home office are correctly updated to avoid possible harm. As a property owner, just like all other property owners, always carry insurance as legal responsibility shall fall on you if a person suffers bodily injury or any other physical harm.

As noted in the preceding paragraphs, liabilities that may arise in a home office can be many and very confounding. It stems from this that you should understand your rights and responsibilities in such instances. Suppose you are going to work from home. In that case, it is very critical that you review and fully understand the provisions of your homeowner's insurance policies, including the exemptions and the limits of the insurance covers. Further, you should take active steps to prevent injuries and protect yourself by having and maintaining a valid homeowner's liability insurance cover. Through taking such actions, you shall be able to be well prepared if you are sued in the event of an accident or if you suffer an injury while working from home. Always ensure that you are not in an unsafe work environment.

Employer's Responsibilities

It follows from the above that there are various steps that you should follow to protect yourself as an employer of an employee so that you are not held legally responsible for the harm suffered by employees working from home. The steps include the following:

Ensure that the Working Environment of Your Employees is Safe From Any Potential Hazards

As an employer, there are so many things that you should consider when allowing your employees to work from. Chief among the reasons is whether the home environment in which the employees work is safe. The only way to be particular about the safety of the home working environment is by inspecting the employee's home environment.

While doing the inspection, you should have a checklist to tick against any possible hazard after the review. You would have to review the ventilation of the home working environment, how the electric gadgets are installed, the house's lighting system and the presence of first-aid materials in case one suffers an injury.

Take Photos of the Work Environment

Once you have inspected the environment, you must take photos and videos for your records. The pictures and videos will allow you to review the work environment for potential hazards. They shall also be of help to you should any liability arise. The photos and videos must therefore be well-kept and documented.

Ensure that you have dedicated the employee to a recommended work environment

After the inspections, you shall have a complete picture of the work environment. The whole concept of the work environment shall help you to analyze the environment to determine the safest and the most dangerous environment to work from. After identifying the safest work environment, ensure you recommend the same to the employee. The recommendation must be in writing.

Ensure that the employee's homeowner's insurance liability policy is current.

As you would want to ensure a minor liability on your end, ensure that the homeowner's insurance liability coverage is well in place and even strive to ensure that you understand its limitations. By doing so, you can limit as much exposure to yourself as possible. Please take note of the homeowner's insurance cover duration so that you can remind the employee to renew the same when it expires. Most homeowners assume nothing wrong would happen on their premises and resort to not taking insurance coverage. Do not be like them. Moreover, your homeowner's insurance shall cover legal costs.

Ensure that the employee's cybersecurity is safe.

Their cybersecurity may be in danger as they work away from the office. To ensure they are safe, their devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and any other working tool, are safe from possible intrusion. By failing to ensure their cybersecurity is secure, you shall be exposing your entire organization to potential risks. It is, therefore, crucial that you provide that their devices are safe. While you have ensured that their devices are secure, there is a danger that the employee may resort to using equipment other than the organization's. With this in mind, keep your employees aware that they should use work equipment other than their own. Also, ensure that the employees adhere to the data protection rules not to expose any data while working from home.

Keep in touch with your employee.

Ensure that you regularly check on your employees and note to keep asking them if they are encountering any challenges. If they indicate that they are facing an issue, you shall have to immediately address such an issue so that it cannot grow into something big. By requiring the employee to report any issue as soon as possible, you shall be taking away much liability on yourself if they sit with a problem. Your efforts in ensuring that the harm is minimized shall be considered when determining liability.

Ensure that your insurance coverage is valid.

Insurance coverage is necessary for instances in which you shall be liable. With this in mind, you should always maintain proper insurance coverage. Understanding the insurance policy's provisions would be best so that nothing surprises you. Keep your insurance company aware that some or all your employees work from home. After speaking to them, ensure that you ask them questions about the coverage and what you need to do so that you or your employees do not violate the terms of the insurance coverage.

LA Injury Group

The team at LA Injury Group is very aware of the fear and concern that a premises liability claim can bring to you and your family. To aid you in establishing liability for your losses and look into every possible source of compensation for your injury while working from your home office claim, we shall carefully examine how the damage happened and the party who should be held liable for the injury.

The sooner you hire legal representation after an accident, the better your chances of getting fair compensation under the law. Contact us today if you are prepared to discuss your legal options. Please be aware that our legal fees depend on your claim's outcome.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers shall aid you through the negotiations and the legal process of the personal injury lawsuits to get a clear picture of what you should expect to see happening in your case. Our experienced personal injury claim Lawyers shall also ensure that they take you through the possible damages the Court may award you. We encourage you to ask as many questions as possible so that we can adequately address all your concerns.

We encourage you to get in touch with us right away so that we can ensure that you are adequately compensated following your injury while working from your home office, as well as for the pain and suffering that you may have endured at the time of the accident.

Put your faith in the team at LA Injury Group to defend your rights and to ensure that you are adequately compensated following your injury while working from your home office. Contact our lawyers for a free legal consultation to discuss your options. Please get in touch with us right away to discuss your personal injury lawsuit.

Is any experienced personal injury lawyer near me?

LA Injury Group is near you and available to help you recover compensation following your injury while working from your home office in Los Angeles by ensuring that they put together sufficient evidence to guarantee you the best chance of getting compensated.

Our law firm has the required skills and experience in dealing with personal injury law claims. Following your call to us, we shall schedule an initial consultation. During the initial consultation, we shall go through the circumstances of your injury while working from home, its strengths and weaknesses, the legal process, and what you should expect in the coming weeks. We shall also address any questions you may have about your injury while working in your home office case.

Contact LA Injury Group Today

LA Injury Group's personal injury lawyers realize how stressful the aftermath of a home can be. With this in mind, LA Injury Group assist personal injury victims in getting through this challenging event by helping them through the convoluted legal process and giving them the best chance of receiving the highest compensation they deserve.

Do not delay if you or a loved one is a victim of an accident that arose because of someone else's negligence. At LA Injury Group, we offer a free case examination to enable you to decide the best way forward. Contact us now if you have premises liability questions.

We are very much dedicated to ensuring that we help you attain the best possible outcome in your personal injury claim or any claim arising from an injury suffered when you are working from home. By contacting us, we shall take all the appropriate steps to get you compensation commensurate to your injuries.

We are available to take your call 24/7 and well-prepared to fight your case with the vigor it deserves. Contact us now, and our personal injury attorneys will treat you compassionately.

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