As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads through the United States, more individuals are going to be exposed to the virus at work. Those individuals who are exposed at work should definitely pursue workers’ compensation claims if they contract the virus.
The reason that workers’ compensation should be pursued is that, if workers’ compensation is granted, the system will cover all of the medical bills related to the condition and payment for time off related to the condition (without using up sick time or vacation time). Moreover, in the very unfortunate situation that significant complications arise from coronavirus, workers’ compensation should cover treatment related to those complications and will pay dependents compensation in the extremely unfortunate situation where work-related coronavirus leads to death.
The following professions are just some of the fields where exposure to coronavirus is most likely to occur. If you contract the coronavirus and think that you may have been exposed at work, contact The Harris Firm today to see how you should proceed with your workers’ compensation claim:
Medical Personnel: Medical professionals are at the most obvious risk for contracting coronavirus at work. While most medical facilities are taking significant measures to prevent employees from being exposed, the experience of medical professionals in the countries where this virus has spread prior to reaching the United States demonstrates that many medical professionals will contract the virus. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs and anyone else involved in the health care industry is likely to have significant interaction with sick patients. If you work in any of these fields and contract the virus, you are likely to have a workers’ compensation claim.
Emergency workers: Emergency workers are likely to encounter individuals who might be sick with coronavirus under a number of circumstances. Responding to emergencies involving sick patients or simply interacting with individuals who have the virus on a day to bay basis, emergency workers such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics are at a high risk of contracting the virus from work. This risk will go even higher if we reach a point where officers are asked to maintain any kind of quarantine by confronting individuals who should not be out in public.
Nursing Home Employees: Nursing homes are full of vulnerable people whose needs require significant personal interaction. As we have seen from the cases in Seattle, nursing homes are also ripe for the significant spread of coronavirus. Because nursing home employees are needed to maintain care for their patients, they are certainly going to be asked to continue working even if coronavirus hits their facilities. If this is the case, many are likely to contract coronavirus from their workplace.
Hospital Employees: Hospitals employ more than just doctors and nurses. Individuals who perform desk jobs, janitorial services, food prep services, and many other tasks are likely to continue working if hospitals become overrun with coronavirus patients. These employees are obviously at higher risk than the average person of encountering coronavirus in the workplace.
Jail or Prison Employees: Similar to nursing homes, jails and prisons house a number of individuals in the kind of close confines where viruses are easily spread. Jails and prisons also require a large number of employees to maintain order. Many of those employees are unlikely to be released from work even if coronavirus begins to spread at their facilities. As such, jail and prison employees may be more likely to contract coronavirus at work than the average worker.
Delivery Drivers: Since people are being advised to stay at home as much as possible, many households have chosen to have many supplies delivered rather than going to the store themselves. This means that delivery drivers are busy. Also, depending on how deliveries are picked up and delivered, these drivers may be exposed to a number of people increasing their chances of contracting the virus.
Grocery Store Employees: Groceries are of the few kinds of stores that remain active during the coronavirus scare. In fact, grocery stores seem to be busier than ever. This means that cashiers and baggers are constantly being exposed to people, increasing their risk of coming into contact with someone carrying coronavirus.
Cleaning Service and Janitorial Service Employees: The risk of coronavirus has led to large scale cleaning operations at any business that desires to stay open. The individuals doing the cleaning are obviously going into these locations before they have been sterilized. As such, the persons doing the cleaning are increasing their risk of coming into contact with the virus during their work.
Pharmacy employees: As with groceries, pharmacies remain open and active during this period of time. When shoppers come in to get prescriptions filled or to buy medical supplies, they are interacting with cashiers and pharmacy workers, making it possible that those employees might contract the virus from any of the persons they encounter during the workday.
Anyone who is exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) at work: In truth, anyone who contracts the coronavirus at work has a workers’ compensation claim. While the preceding list of professions might have increased risk inherent to the business they conduct, any job can turn into a high-risk worksite through the presence of other employees who have contracted the virus. Therefore, if you worked and know that someone carried the virus to your workplace, and then you came down with the virus, you may have a workers’ compensation claim.
Coronavirus claims may be complicated, so having an attorney to assist you through the process is likely to be helpful. Workers’ compensation is going to consider whether a virus was contracted at work or if it may have been contracted somewhere else. An attorney can help explain to you the best way to show whether work was the most likely place that caused exposure to the virus, thus helping you to substantiate a workers’ compensation claim. Hopefully, you are not one of the individuals who have to deal with a situation where you should pursue a workers’ compensation claim due to coronavirus contracted at work. But if you do face this situation, feel free to contact The Harris Firm today to see how we can help you get the coverage you deserve.