Once the frontiers were reached, and the wilderness was tamed, the most dangerous place for many Americans became the workplace. Factories, roads under construction and other risky places of employ saw many tragic and preventable injuries before better labor laws started to turn those risks around. Many professions, including manufacturing and emergency service, continue to feature high injury or death rates.
Workplaces are changing in many ways that are likely to alter our relationships to how we think about injuries on the job. Freelancing, contracting and long-term freelance employments often called "permalancing" has blurred the lines on liability for workplace injuries. People working from home or working remotely is also raising questions on who pays for recovery for home injuries.
A state court of appeals has recently said that an injury at home constitutes a work injury for the purposes of claiming workers' compensation benefits. The employee in question habitually works from home as a case manager for a substance abuse clinic and fell to the point of injury while on the phone with a client.
Although the exact cause of the accident was not adjudicated by the court, the concept that a home injury is protected by workers' compensation is a relief for many workers for whom that sort of injury is a risk. Later cases may determine whether this concept continues to be respected in the courts.
Workers dealing with the aftermath of a job-related injury may require legal representation to properly file a claim or dispute a rejected claim. An attorney can be very helpful to injured workers in a tight situation.