Coronavirus Work Injury Lawyer
COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down, but a coronavirus work injury lawyer can help you make sense of your workers’ compensation claim. The right lawyer can also help you navigate the legal challenges of filing a lawsuit against a negligent employer. Read on to understand your rights when it comes to COVID-19 and the workplace.
Clocking in During the Pandemic
For many workers across the country, COVID-19 meant a readjustment period for those who were instructed to work from home. However, many workers didn’t enjoy the luxury of remote work and had to carry on at their workplace as if nothing happened. Unfortunately, given the nature of the pandemic, many employees contracted COVID.
Contracting the coronavirus means a long period of social isolation, medical care, and missing hours at work. It also means possibly spreading it to your loved ones – a frightening possibility when you consider the life-threatening nature of COVID-19. Serious illness and possibly death can result from a coronavirus infection, so what kind of financial compensation should you expect while you recover?
Fortunately, it is possible to file a claim for workers’ compensation if you have contracted COVID-19 at work. In some instances, you may even be able to sue your employer. However, there are certain factors to consider when making your claim. There are two scenarios that can lead to contracting COVID-19 at work, and in each case, you may need the input of a coronavirus work injury lawyer to decide whether or not to move forward.
If your employer followed the established CDC guidelines to keep employees safe from COVID-19, and you still caught the coronavirus, you could have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim, but not necessarily for a gross negligence lawsuit. You would still need to prove that you contracted COVID-19 at work, which can be a challenge given the virus’ dormancy period.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim for COVID-19, you’ll also need to prove that you contracted the disease while either A: physically at the workplace; or B: carrying out work-specific tasks away from the workplace.
For example: If you caught COVID while eating lunch away from the office, you won’t be able to file for workers’ compensation. However, if you were eating in the office, or driving to a meeting with a client when you caught COVID-19, you can still file for workers’ compensation.
If your employer failed to follow any established CDC guidelines to protect you and your fellow employees from the coronavirus, you might have grounds for a gross negligence lawsuit. Unlike workers’ compensation, which is “no-fault” and won’t hold your employer responsible for your injuries, a gross negligence lawsuit places the blame for your COVID-19 squarely on your employer.
Your employer has a responsibility to keep you safe, and that means following CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19. If that didn’t happen, you can sue them for gross negligence, and potentially make even more money than you would have with just a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp typically has an upper limit for the financial payout, but that’s not the case with lawsuits.
Catching COVID-19 At Work
We all want to believe that the risk of getting COVID has lowered and that we can return to our normal, everyday routines again without the scare of getting sick. Unfortunately, COVID is very much still out there and even with vaccines and workplaces taking safety precautions, it is still possible to catch it. So, what can you do if you caught COVID from a friend from work? Is it reasonable to file a workers’ compensation claim so that you can receive benefits while you are unable to work? Call our office if you are unsure of what to do and to learn more about what workers’ compensation benefits look like with COVID.
What should you do immediately following COVID symptoms?
When you start having symptoms of COVID, one of the most important things you can do is get medical attention as quickly as possible. You want to let your employer know regardless of workers’ compensation benefits so that they can notify others at work to quarantine at home. Once you show symptoms, you want to seek help from a doctor quickly to get medical care and attention. They can give you the treatment necessary to try and keep it a mild case and they can monitor you throughout your sickness. Additionally, these medical records will be imperative when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
What do I need to prove?
While you typically will not have much to prove in a workers’ compensation case, you will need to show that you got COVID from work, not from elsewhere. This can be slightly more difficult since it can be hard to track down where you got it. If you know of other employees who have gotten sick and you were in recent contact with them, you can ask them for statements. Other pieces of evidence that can help bolster your claim are:
- Meeting notes
- Travel reservations for work
- Conference attendance lists
- Emails and memos
Proving that you got it from another employee at work can sometimes be difficult. Especially with how new this virus is and information that seems to change every day, it may not be so simple to get workers’ compensation benefits. The important things to do are to get medical help as quickly as possible and speak with your workers’ compensation attorney to help you plan how you will file your claim.
Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. Today
At Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., we understand the challenges faced by many who had to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re looking for more information about your workers’ compensation claim or you want to know if you can pursue a gross negligence lawsuit, you can contact us to get the legal help you deserve.
Reach out to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., and get help from a qualified coronavirus work injury lawyer today.