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Your Guide to Home Depot Workers’ Compensation

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
May 30, 2024  ·  6 min read
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Injuries are more common in home supply stores like Home Depot than in the average workplace. In 2015, Cal/OSHA cited Home Depot for failing to require its employees to wear protective footwear after an employee’s foot was severely injured in a collision between two pallet jacks.

If you get hurt while working at Home Depot, you can qualify for workers’ comp, which covers your medical care and pays for lost wages.

Here’s what you need to know if you were injured while working at Home Depot.

Does Home Depot have workers’ compensation?

Yes, Home Depot is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in all states except Texas and South Dakota. Home Depot’s insurance carrier or benefits administrator may differ between states.

Home Depot benefits in Texas

Like many companies, Home Depot is a non-subscriber in Texas. If you were injured while working at a Home Depot in Texas you can likely still qualify for benefits, but we recommend talking to a workers’ comp lawyer to help you understand your options.

Who is eligible for workers’ comp at Home Depot?

To be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you need to be an employee of Home Depot and your injury needs to have been directly caused by your job. Full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees can all qualify.

If you are an independent contractor and receive Form 1099 instead of a W-2 during tax season, you likely do not qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

Workers’ comp also doesn’t apply to injuries that happened while you were off-duty. For example, if you are hit by a shopping cart in the Home Depot parking lot on your way home, you’re not eligible for workers’ comp. But if you get hit with a shopping cart while helping a customer to their car, you are eligible.

Read more about which workers qualify for benefits.

Types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation

Any injury, illness, or health condition that happens at work or directly results from doing your job can qualify for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is also a no-fault system, meaning you are eligible whether your injury was Home Depot’s fault or your own.

Injuries that result from a single event are easiest to get benefits for. Breaking a bone after getting hit by a shopping cart or becoming ill after exposure to chemical fertilizers are examples.

Injuries that develop over time can also qualify. For example, lower back pain from months or years of lifting and lowering heavy merchandise would qualify as long as you can show that the injury was a result of your job. Having your doctor attest to this is important.

Injuries that significantly worsen a pre-existing condition can also get you benefits. As an example, let’s say you previously had a herniated disc and one day it is re-injured at work. That qualifies for workers’ comp, though insurance will likely challenge it and you’ll need to show medically that your work caused the re-aggravation and it wasn’t a result of your off-duty activities.

Learn more about injuries that qualify for workers’ comp.

Atticus can simplify the workers' comp process for you.

The 3 most common workplace injuries at Home Depot

In 2022, Home Depot’s Recordable Incident Rate was 4.08 incidents for every 100 employees. This is on par with the national average for other stores that sell building material and garden equipment (4.1) but higher than the national average (2.7).

According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common nonfatal injuries among stores like Home Depot were:

1. Contact with an object or equipment

About one-third of nonfatal injuries in this subsector were the result of contact with objects or equipment. If you’re a Home Depot freight or warehouse associate, you might injure yourself using a pallet jack or forklift. If you’re a cashier, you may not regularly work with dangerous equipment, but you can still injure yourself if, for example, a heavy item falls on your foot while you check out a customer.

2. Falls, slips, and trips

Falls, slips, and trips are fairly common in building material and garden equipment stores, accounting for 22% of nonfatal injuries. With 105,000 square feet of indoor retail space, the average Home Depot store has plenty of floor to slip on. If you stock shelves at Home Depot, you might injure yourself by falling off a ladder.

3. Overexertion

Overexertion covers two types of injuries. The first is anything that results from lifting and lowering heavy objects, which is fairly common at building material and garden equipment stores, representing 19% of injuries. Many jobs at Home Depot require heavy lifting, which often leads to back injuries. The second is repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel, back injuries from years of bending over or foot injuries from years of standing on your feet all day.

How does workers’ comp work at Home Depot?

If you were injured while working at Home Depot, there are a few steps you should take to ensure you have the best chance at receiving workers’ comp benefits.

1. Receive necessary medical care

If your injury requires emergency medical care, seek help right away and tell the doctor or provider that you have a work injury. If your condition doesn’t require immediate care, you may want to wait to see a doctor until after you’ve notified Home Depot of your injury since they will likely have a list of approved providers from their insurance.

2. Report the injury

Report your injury or illness to your supervisor, boss, or the human resources department as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to notify your employer (a week or less in most states) and you can’t get benefits if you miss that deadline.

Some states only require verbal notice, but having an email or physical letter with a date is better. Make sure to keep a copy for your own records.

If you have a cumulative injury, such as back pain from daily heavy lifting, report it as soon as you notice the injury, or as soon as you can confirm that it’s work-related. The sooner you report it, the stronger your workers’ comp case will be, so you should always report workplace injuries, no matter how minor they may seem at the time.

If you want more advice, here’s how to report a work injury or illness.

3. File for workers’ comp

If your injury requires medical treatment or you need to miss days of work to recover, your employer should file a workers’ compensation claim for you. In most cases, after you report the injury, your employer will give you a form to fill out within a couple of days. Complete it and return it. Then they will submit the form to their workers’ comp insurance, which will accept or deny the claim. (You may also be able to file a claim yourself, but do it within your state’s time limit.

When your claim is approved, Home Depot’s insurance will pay for your medical care and you will start receiving checks that cover some of your lost wages while you’re out of work.

Here’s a state-by-state guide to filing a workers’ comp claim.

How much does Home Depot pay for workers’ comp?

How much you get from Home Depot’s workers’ comp depends on where you live, but you’ll usually get checks worth two-thirds of your average pre-injury wage. Insurance will send those checks every week or two and you’ll probably get them through the mail (most insurers don’t use direct deposit).

Workers’ comp will also pay for all medical expenses related to your injury, including everything from copays and doctor’s visits to physical therapy and surgery.

Related article: Average Settlements by Injured Body Part

Will you get a workers’ comp settlement?

Maybe. Not all workers’ comp claims end with a settlement but many do.

A settlement is usually one lump-sum payment that you negotiate with the insurer. It’s meant to cover your lost wages, necessary medical care, any workers’ comp benefit you haven’t gotten yet, and any other expenses that result from your injury (like retraining).

Getting a settlement offer from insurance is most common if your injury requires long-term treatment or if your workers’ comp doctor says you may never return to your pre-injury condition (a point called maximum medical improvement or MMI).

Any time the workers’ comp insurance company offers to settle, we suggest talking to a workers’ comp lawyer. You can negotiate a settlement yourself but estimating lost wages and the cost of medical care isn’t easy. The insurance will also have its own lawyer (or a team of them) whose goal is to pay you as little as possible. A lawyer can help you level the playing field to negotiate a fair payout. Workers’ comp lawyers also don’t charge anything upfront. You only pay after you get your settlement.

Get workers' comp help today.

Frequently asked questions about Home Depot workers’ comp

How long do I have to file a workers’ comp claim for Home Depot?

If you were injured while working at Home Depot, file your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible. Home Depot requires employees to report any injury within 24 hours, but that is their company policy, not state law, and does not affect your workers’ comp eligibility. Every state has its own reporting timeline, from as few as 3 days to as many as 40.

What happens if you get hurt on the job at Home Depot?

If you are hurt while working at Home Depot, you should notify your supervisor with an email or dated letter as soon as possible. Seek any necessary medical care and keep records of any doctor visits. Home Depot should give you a form to fill out so it can file a workers’ comp claim for you.

What is the difference between an incident and an accident?

Home Depot makes distinctions between incidents and accidents. Incidents are unplanned events that interfere with the completion of a task. Accidents are unplanned events that result in injuries or losses. All accidents are incidents and to be clear, you should report any injury you experience at work because it can qualify for workers’ comp.

Does Home Depot have workers’ comp in Texas?

Home Depot is a non-subscriber in Texas, meaning it does not have workers’ comp insurance in the state. Texas is one of two states in the United States that does not require companies to have workers’ compensation insurance and many companies choose not to carry workers’ comp insurance in Texas.

Do I need a lawyer to file a workers’ comp claim for Home Depot?

You do not need a lawyer to file a workers’ comp claim for Home Depot. But a lawyer can make the application process easier by handling paperwork, helping you file, managing appeals, fighting for more medical care, and negotiating a settlement. Here are some situations when you might benefit from a lawyer. Your initial consultation is free and you don’t pay anything until you get a settlement.

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Related resources:

5 Common Questions About Workers’ Comp Lawyers

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How Much a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Costs in Every State

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A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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