COVID 19 AS A WORK INJURY
The COVID-19 virus is causing historic levels of harm to the health and economic well-being of Californians. Cantrell, Green has lost at least one client to the disease, a retired Orange County firefighter.
Despite the need for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, many have had to continue working outside of their homes in what are considered essential jobs. In doing so, they often have greatly increased their chances of contracting the virus. While many easily recover, others are sick and off work for extended times and, in the worst cases, never recover.
In a workers’ compensation case, the injured worker must prove the condition was at least partly caused by work. When the disease is caused by an invisible exposure that could have happened anywhere, this can be a particularly difficult burden to meet. To address this problem in a way that recognizes the extra risks taken by those leaving home to work during the pandemic, Governor Newson has announced a temporary new rule: those working outside of their homes on or after the March 19th stay-at-home order and who later develop COVID-19 will be favored by a “presumption” that the disease was caused by work.
Anyone who suspects they may have COVID-19 should speak to a physician and seek testing as soon as possible, not just for health reasons but to protect the right to potential benefits. Anyone missing work due to COVID-19 should quickly get a note from a physician saying they cannot work due to having COVID-19. It would also be advisable to consult with a workers’ compensation specialist as soon as possible – all of our attorneys are specialists, and we offer free initial consultations.
Our law firm has years of experience working with similar presumptions that apply to safety officers (firefighters, law enforcement and others) due to the special risks of their jobs. Unfortunately, the presumptions do not mean that employers and insurance companies will immediately provide workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, even for safety officers, such claims are almost always initially denied and require a legal fight to become accepted. Fortunately, when the facts are right and when properly handled by a legal specialist, a presumption gives what is needed to win the claim.
Long Beach Workers Comp Attorneys for Covid-19
If you were injured or made ill in the workplace by Covid-19 or another illness or accident, we recommend that you speak with an experienced workers comp attorney at Cantrell Green immediately.
Your consultation with our workers’ comp attorneys is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits for which you qualify.