Were you Hurt While Working at Home Depot?*

Home Depot and Worker's Compensation

Your employer has a duty to keep you safe while at work. When they don’t, serious accidents can happen leaving you out of work with medical expenses to pay. As a Home Depot employee, you should not be held responsible for your on-the-job accident or the costs of your medical care.

That’s why large companies, like Home Depot, offer their injured employees benefits under workers’ compensation programs.

Workers’ compensation is a specific type of insurance used by employees, like you, who are hurt at work. The benefits available to you help cover your accident-related expenses like medical bills and missed pay. If your injuries are permanent or cause partial disability, you may be eligible for additional compensation.


Home Depot Workplace Hazards

Home Depot is a national chain of do-it-yourself home improvement stores with more than 2,200 locations across the U.S. As a Home Depot employee, you may fill any one of their retail roles like:

  • Sales floor associate
  • Lot associate
  • Freight associate
  • Cashier

While each of these positions is unique, Home Depot’s warehouse-like setup combined with the nature of products sold and services offered to customers means you may face a number of hazards while working at the large retailer.

For example, as a sales floor associate, you might have to operate a number of machines to make copies of keys, mix paint, and cut carpet or blinds to order. Machinery accidents, such as ones with a forklift, can happen if you weren’t properly trained how to use them or if the equipment isn’t routinely inspected and maintained.

As a freight associate or lot associate you may be injured while performing your routine responsibilities like replenishing merchandise, collecting carts, and helping customers to their cars. Some common accidents and injuries include:

  • Uneven parking lot surfaces that cause you to fall
  • Falling from ladders while retrieving or restocking items
  • Back injuries from heavy or repetitive lifting
  • Wet and slippery floors in the garden center and nearby areas

These various workplace accidents can leave you with debilitating injuries and an inability to work. Filing a workers’ compensation claim against Home Depot can help you to recover compensation for wage repayment and medical costs.

While these are just a short list of injuries you can sustain while working at Home Depot, you may want more specific information about injuries while working there. To find out more, please see:

State Workers’ Compensation Laws

Each state has a workers’ compensation benefits system setup to protect injured employees. As a national company with more than 300,000 employees, Home Depot may choose to pay into your state’s workers’ compensation program or self-insure, that is, offer their own benefits. Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for workers' compensation.

Regardless of the type of insurance offered, Home Depot must make benefits available to you if you’re hurt on the job so you can recover lost wages and medical expenses.

Home Depot Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the case of Patel v. Home Depot USA Inc., an Illinois man was involved in not one but two work-related accidents as a Home Depot employee. Both of his workers’ compensation claims were heard at the same time by an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission arbitrator.

The arbitrator awarded Patel more than $22,000 in Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. This amount was in addition to the nearly $28,000 Home Depot had already paid to Patel for the injuries he received while working for the large retailer.

How to File a Claim Against Home Depot

What you do if you have had any kind of workplace accident depends a lot on how badly you have been injured. If you were crushed by a forklift while working in a Home Depot warehouse or fell off a ladder while trying to reach goods in the storeroom, you will need emergency treatment.

You may not be able to do anything else except wait for an ambulance to take you to a hospital. If the accident is not so serious, but you have still been injured, you should immediately let your supervisor know and then make sure you see a doctor and get any medical treatment you need.

There are time limits which must be observed if you intend claiming workers’ compensation, so even if you have been badly injured, you should try and make sure your employer knows what happened and when. All workplace injuries must be officially recorded. This information is used to help determine the time your workers’ comp. payments start.

Many insurers make it compulsory to use a preferred doctor or medical facility or they may insist that you get an initial examination or diagnosis with their own doctor first and then you have more flexibility to decide who to use for further treatment. Make sure you find out because using a non-preferred doctor, medical center or hospital could invalidate your claim when you get around to filing it.

Again, there will be a time limit on filing a claim for workers’ compensation. This is usually two or three years from the date of the injury, but it is in your interests to make the claim as soon as possible, as long as you are prepared to provide some evidence that the injury happened while working at the Home Depot.

Gathering Evidence for a Home Depot Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation is not an at-fault type of insurance claim. You are entitled to make a claim and receive statutory benefits even if you were to blame for the accident that led to your injury. The main pre-requisites are:

  • you can show evidence that the accident happened while legitimately at work. For example, if you are on your way to work or driving back home and have a car accident, this cannot be included.
  • the accident was not deliberate or caused by intoxication or taking of legal drugs.
  • you keep to the time limits as has already been indicated above and observe the procedure laid down by the state workers’ comp. board or agency.

The most common reason why an insurer denies a workers’ compensation claim is because they are not convinced that the injury was work related. You should be able to get confirmation about the accident from fellow employees and remember to let your supervisor know as soon as possible, so there is a date and details of the accident recorded.

You may be able to take photos of the accident and any injuries if you have a cell phone or can borrow one. This is unlikely, of course, if you are incapacitated and are waiting for an ambulance. The doctor’s report will be important as it will have details of the expected treatment and how the accident could have happened.

A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

As a Home Depot employee, you deserve workers’ compensation benefits if you’re injured on the job. Unfortunately, these benefits are not always easy to come by.

You must follow a strict set of rules for filing a claim, meet specific deadlines, and present documentation of your injuries. Even when you complete everything needed, your claim may still be denied.

Before navigating a claim on your own, contact a workers’ compensation attorney for guidance. He or she understands the complex state laws injured workers must follow and can present your claim with the evidence needed to win the benefits you deserve. If you need additional information on filing a claim against Home Depot, check out our tips for success.

*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Home Depot, you may not be entitled to any compensation.