COVID-19 Occupational Exposure Attorneys
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Coronavirus?
A major concern for many Americans of late is whether or not you can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you contract COVID-19 in the workplace. At The Bridgeford Law Office, APC, our workers’ comp legal team understands the importance of this issue and we are here to help. Our COVID-19 occupational exposure lawyers in Santa Clarita focus exclusively on work-related injury and illness cases in Southern California, so we have the knowledge and experience to handle your COVID-19 worker’s comp claim from start to finish.
So, can you get workers’ comp for COVID? And how do you go about it? Read on to learn more about COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims in California or give us a call to discuss your case in detail.
How Can Employers Tell If COVID-19 Is Work-Related?
With the ongoing and rampant spread of the novel coronavirus, it can be hard for those who become infected to determine where and how exactly they contracted the virus. So, how can workers prove that they were exposed to the virus in the workplace and not somewhere else?
The state of California has made this process relatively easy by establishing a COVID-19 presumption. This is a legal inference that allows employees who come down with COVID-19 and regularly work around others to assume they got COVID-19 at their job. This presumption was made law in September 2020 under Senate Bill No. 1159 and remains in effect until January 1, 2023.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are employed in California, you have a good chance of receiving workers’ comp thanks to this law. All you have to do is inform your employer of your diagnosis in writing and wait for them to provide the next steps.
What Kind of Benefits You Might Be Eligible For
Employees who receive workers’ compensation benefits for the novel coronavirus are entitled to most of the same benefits as workers affected by other occupational illnesses, such as:
- Full coverage and/or reimbursement of related medical treatment
- Temporary disability benefits, which pay a portion of lost wages
- Funeral and burial expenses, in the event of wrongful death
Head to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s website for more information about benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.
How an Occupational Exposure Attorney Can Help
By now, COVID-19 claims have become relatively streamlined and expected. However, some employees still encounter issues when they try to file a claim for workers’ comp due to a novel coronavirus infection. If your employer won’t cooperate with or denies your claim, you need to know what workers can do if they feel that they are not being adequately protected from COVID by their employer.
The first thing you should do if you are having trouble with your COVID-19 workers’ comp claim is to call an attorney. Most occupational illness lawyers offer free, no-risk consultations during which you can explain the facts of your case and receive legal advice tailored to your specific situation without feeling pressured to hire the firm should you decide not to take legal action.
If you do learn that taking legal action can help you receive benefits and you decide to move forward with an attorney’s help, your lawyer will take care much of the rest of the claims process on your behalf. Letting an experienced COVID-19 occupational exposure attorney take the reins will lift the burden from your shoulders and increase the likelihood your claim will be filed correctly and be approved as quickly as possible.
You can also hold your employer legally accountable if you contracted COVID-19 due to negligent business practices, such as:
- Failure to implement proper, government-mandated COVID-19 safety precautions for employees
- Forcing you or another sick coworker to return to work or to continue working while ill under the threat of firing you if you refuse
- Keeping a business open or operating in an unsafe capacity despite the state’s workplace safety and health orders
Due to the evolving nature of available knowledge regarding COVID-19 as well as ever-changing workers’ comp liability issues, determining what’s the right move for you and how to go about your claim can be challenging. Our firm is here to help. We are committed to keeping all of our clients in the loop regarding their cases and can help you explore all available options for recovery.