Coronavirus is currently spreading across the globe. As of the date of this article, it has yet to reach the United States in significant numbers, but it appears like a more widespread outbreak may be on the horizon. Individuals have a wide variety of exposure risks when it comes to coronavirus. Many of those risks are work-related. In those cases, the persons who contract coronavirus should be pursuing workers’ compensation claims.
If you, or someone you know contracts coronavirus, and think it may be related to work, feel free to contact The Harris Firm to determine whether you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Below are some things to keep in mind when thinking about whether a work-related claim for coronavirus might exist.
The most obvious claims for work-related coronavirus will arise from individuals working in the medical field.
As we have already seen in China, individuals who are assigned to treat persons suffering from coronavirus have an increased likelihood of contracting the disease themselves. Doctors, nurses, hospital staffers, individuals involved in containment practices, and many others are coming into contact with coronavirus sufferers across the world. If those same individuals contract the coronavirus due to this exposure they unquestionably have workers’ compensation claims that should be pursued. If you are exposed to coronavirus at work with patients suffering from the disease, a workers’ compensation claim should be filed related to those exposures.
The second most likely source for coronavirus claims during the early stages of the outbreak is from those who are exposed to the virus during work-related travel.
In the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, a significant number of persons who have contracted the disease have contracted it in the course of travel. Individuals forced to travel for work, particularly those who are forced to travel overseas, may be at increased risk of contracting the disease. If a link between the travel and the disease can be determined, a workers’ compensation claim can be pursued.
As the coronavirus spreads to the United States, work-related coronavirus cases will certainly increase, although they will also be more difficult to prove.
As the coronavirus spreads to the United States, individuals are at increased likelihood of being exposed to the disease in many locations, including at work. Because many potential exposure sites could exist, proving that coronavirus likely came from work could be hard. However, there are factors that could make the claims more likely to succeed, like official documentation of others suffering from the disease at work and the closure of work locations due to confirmation of the disease being present at the worksite. If you think you might have contracted coronavirus at work, you can contact our office and we can help you look into these factors.
Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for coronavirus makes sense because it could allow you to get paid for time lost from work due to the condition.
Anyone who contracts the coronavirus is likely to miss a significant amount of time from work. This lost time could lead to financial difficulties. However, if the virus can be traced to work, and a workers’ compensation claim can be proven, individuals suffering from the disease would get paid for their time off.
The spouses and children of individuals who die due to work-related coronavirus are entitled to significant benefits and should pursue workers’ compensation claims as soon as possible.
Sadly, coronavirus has already caused numerous deaths around the world. The more it spreads, the more the number of deaths is likely to increase. Some of those deaths are going to arise from coronavirus cases that were contracted during work. In those circumstances, spouses and minor children are eligible for benefits from workers’ compensation. In cases of work-related deaths, spouses are entitled to benefits for the remainder of their lives so long as they do not remarry. Children are entitled to benefits until they reach adulthood and possibly even longer if they remain enrolled in school. However, individuals have only a limited time to pursue benefits related to workplace deaths. If you are in the extremely unfortunate scenario where a loved one has passed away due to coronavirus contracted at work, feel free to contact our office today to see how we might help.