“Teleworking is encouraged.” How many times have we heard that in recent months while our country tries to find its way through a global health crisis? If you’re one of the thousands of “essential workers” who have kept us going through these trying times, teleworking may not have been an option.
Whether you work in healthcare, retail, construction, food service, manufacturing, or one of the many other industries considered essential during the pandemic, your job may have resulted in your being exposed to Covid-19. Some employers had policies in place which afforded wage loss and medical benefits to their employees if they were exposed to the virus at work. If your employer did not offer such benefits, then a workers’ compensation claim may be something to consider.
Being exposed to the virus, however, is not the only type of workers’ compensation claim that the pandemic may have caused. From restaurants and retail establishments to offices, factories, and classrooms, changes to how things are cleaned and how tasks are completed have been occurring frequently as we try to re-open businesses while still keeping our employees, students, and customers safe. If you were injured in the process of making your workplace safe to open, or while performing tasks to encourage social distancing or sanitization, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
In order to file a successful claim, you’ll need to make sure that you notified your employer within 30 days and provide medical evidence which indicates your exposure to the Coronavirus or the injury you sustained is directly related to the job you have performed during the pandemic.
If you were injured while performing tasks to keep your workplace safe during the pandemic, you will need to be able to identify the date and time that the injury occurred as well as the task that you were performing.
If you believe that your job resulted in you being exposed to the Coronavirus, you will need to be able to identify the circumstances surrounding your exposure, including the approximate date and time that you may have been exposed, the person with whom you were interacting at the time, and when you first experienced symptoms. In order for a claim to be successful, you also will need to be transparent about the steps you have been taking outside of work to reduce or eliminate your exposure to the virus. To determine that your illness is work-related, you should be prepared for the insurance company to review where you have been and with whom you have interacted outside of work.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will help you identify whether or not your job has resulted in your being at a higher risk for exposure to the Coronavirus or has led to injuries that you otherwise would not have sustained Through an in depth discussion with you regarding the specific circumstances of your injury or illness, and reviewing your medical records, an attorney will be able to help you determine whether your job as an essential worker during this difficult time has led to an injury or illness that entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits.