Are you a medical professional that was diagnosed with coronavirus after coming into contact with an infected patient? If so, you might have attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your request for workers’ compensation was denied or if you have encountered difficulties during the process, you might benefit from the expertise of a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you are in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact our workers’ compensation attorneys at your earliest convenience. Our employment experts have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims – always representing the best interests of our clients. If you would like to discuss your claim with our experts, do not hesitate to contact California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today.
What is Coronavirus?
What we know as the coronavirus, specifically COVID-19, is largely based on similar coronaviruses; as the virus continues to spread, more information is becoming available.
The virus is believed to spread both person-to-person as well as from coming into contact with infected surfaces or objects. In other words, the virus could spread between individuals who are within close proximity to one another (within about six feet); spread of the virus is also possible through the respiratory droplets that are produced when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. The virus primarily enters the body through the mouth or nose. Although it is less likely, it is also believed that the virus could spread via contact with infected surfaces or objects; specifically, after individuals touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching an infected surface or object.
According to the information available, people are most contagious when they are showing the most symptoms; that is, when they are the sickest. However, it is possible for the virus to spread before symptoms even begin to appear. There also appears to be a community spread of the virus, meaning that people have become infected in a specific area even if they are unsure of when or how they were exposed to the virus.
The symptoms associated with COVID-19 include some of the following:
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms typically appear two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Those who are showing symptoms are encouraged to call a medical professional to determine whether they need to be tested for the virus.
Those who are sick must stay home (with the exception of going to get medical care), remain separate from other people and animals within your home, always call ahead before any medical appointments, always wear a facemask when around other people, always cover coughs and sneezes, constantly wash their hands, avoid sharing any personal household items (dishes, cups, towels, etc.), and constantly clean “high-touch” surfaces. Of course, infected individuals should continue to monitor their symptoms and only discontinue isolation after consulting with a medical professional and the local health department.
Without a doubt, the outbreak has left many people in a panic. The CDC recommends many preventative actions, including but not limited to avoiding close contact with those who are sick, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and staying home when sick. In the U.S., there has been 76 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 44 cases related to exposure on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Coronavirus Leaves Many Unable to Work – Especially Medical Professionals
Without a doubt, contracting the virus could leave you unable to work. However, there are some professions that are most at-risk of being exposed to the virus; these include medical professionals that are constantly coming into close contact with infected patients. Undeniably, there is a certain risk associated with working in the medical field – as it is possible to contract disease while dealing with patients.
In general, work-related injuries or harm can be covered by workers’ compensation. Can coronavirus be covered under workers’ compensation? In general, any “regular” diseases (such as influenza or the cold) to which the general population is exposed to is not considered a part of the occupational disease category (which are covered under workers’ compensation). These normal conditionals are not covered because they can be contracted anywhere. However, more serious conditions might be covered. For example, if there have been no cases of coronavirus in your community but you got sick strictly because you were exposed to the virus in your workplace (that is, there was an infected patient on the premises), you might be eligible for workers’ compensation.
If you are a medical professional that got sick after coming into contact with a coronavirus patient, do not hesitate to explore the possibility of filing a workers’ compensation claim immediately.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
If you were exposed to coronavirus in your workplace, you might have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim; however, you must ensure that you have a thorough understanding of workers’ compensation and the way that it works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance meant to help employees after being harmed in their workplace. In general, most U.S. states require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation coverage makes medical care, temporary/permanent disability benefits, partial pay, and survivor’s benefits available based on the specific situation.
In general, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim is designed to be simple. It consists of reporting the harm to the employer and requesting/submitting the appropriate workers’ compensation forms. Typically, employees get a response within two weeks of submitting their workers’ compensation requests. If the request is approved, the employee will begin receiving workers’ compensation. However, it is possible that the request is denied – specifically due to the employer or the insurance company believing that the harm suffered is not work-related.
If a request for workers’ compensation is denied, employees can submit an appeal; unfortunately, many employees never appeal the denied request and simply accept the decision – even if it is unfair. In some cases, the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney is necessary for affected employees to recover the compensation that they are owed.
Could You Sue Your Employer?
Do you have the right to sue your employer? When dealing with workers’ compensation, it is important that employees are aware that employees who are granted workers’ compensation cannot sue their employers. However, you might still have grounds to sue your employer. Some of the reasons that could allow you to sue your employer include the following:
- Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance
- Your employer intentionally caused the harm that you suffered
- Your employer denied your workers’ compensation request for unlawful or discriminative reasons
- Your employer does not offer enough workers’ compensation coverage
In addition to being able to sue your employer, you might have grounds to sue other parties. For example, if you were exposed to a virus because the protective equipment that your employer provided was defective, you could potentially sue the manufacture of the defective product. Likewise, if a company was hired to dispose of hazardous material but failed to do so correctly, you could potentially sue the company. Your right to sue your employer or any other party or entity will always depend on your specific situation.
If you would like to learn more about your right to sue, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience. Our experts are ready to provide you with all the information that you might need to take action immediately.
What Could You Recover?
Could you be eligible to recover any form of compensation for the harm that you suffered? If you sue your employer (or another party/entity) for the harm that you suffered in your workplace, you might be eligible to recover compensation. It is important to note that while an approved workers’ compensation request could result in the recovery of medical care, partial pay, temporary/permanent disability benefits, and death benefits, the compensation that could be awarded if you sue will be differed.
Specifically, if you decide to sue, you could be eligible to recover compensation for some of the following:
- Lost wages, including the wages that you have lost and will continue to lose
- Medical expenses, including the cost of treatment that you have already received and that you will need in the future (long-term care, in-home care, etc.)
- Pain and suffering, including the mental and emotional distress associated with the harm that you suffered
- Punitive damages, awarded as a form of punishment towards the defendant
To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the type and amount of compensation that you might be eligible to receive if you decide to sue your employer for the coronavirus that you suffered, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience. Our workers’ compensation experts are ready to provide you with all the information that you need to better understand the compensation that you could be eligible to receive.
If you allow the experts at our firm to handle your claim, you can be certain that they will aggressively fight for your right to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Get Legal Assistance from Our Experts Today
At California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, our workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to aggressively fight for your right to sue your employer and be rightfully compensated. At our firm, we are dedicated to representing all affected employees. If you were exposed to coronavirus in the workplace, you might have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can trust that the experts at our firm are ready to guide you every step of the way.
At our firm, we offer free legal services to remain accessible to all. Specifically, we offer fee consultations and free second opinions. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions and address all your concerns. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with all the information that you need to either start or continue your claim against your employer. If you would like to benefit from our free legal services, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
At California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, we offer a Zero-Fee guarantee that ensures that our clients will not be required to pay any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency; therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome – if you do not win, you will not be required to pay anything.
Are you ready to discuss your claim with our workers’ compensation experts? If so, do not hesitate to contact our firm at your earliest convenience.