In the last year, nearly 7.5 million people have been affected by the novel coronavirus in the U.S. Of those people, more than 200,000 Americans have died due to complications from the virus.
Now, businesses, schools and other public places continue to develop and improve safety measures so that we can adjust to this new way of living. However, not everyone is taking the virus as seriously as they should. Some business owners have been lenient about social distancing, while various schools have failed to provide proper safety equipment, like masks and gloves, to help protect teachers and students from getting the virus.
If you or a loved recently contracted the virus at work or in a public place, you may be wondering whether you can file a personal injury claim for COVID-19. In the following article, we will answer some of the most common questions about COVID-19 and injury claims.
What Should I Do if I Got Covid-19 at Work?
If you were infected with COVID-19 due to an employer’s negligence, then you will need to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about your case. The best way for you to recover any damages from contracting the virus in the workplace is by having a full understanding of your legal rights.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance provided by companies to help cover any employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses while on the job. Your attorney will help you determine if you are able to obtain fair compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages or emotional distressed you have suffered due to the virus.
Should I File a COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The simple answer is yes.
If you are able to recover any damages from contracting the virus at work, then you should file an injury claim right away.
Having an attorney negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company will give you time to focus on recovering.
How Quickly Do I Need to File a Covid-19 Injury Claim?
Most civil tort claims need to be filed two years after the injury or illness began. If you or a loved one contracted the virus earlier in the year, then the statute of limitations will not expire until March of 2022.
Does Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Apply for the Transmission of Covid-19?
This answer depends on what state your job is in. State laws tend to vary when it comes to determining if your illness or someone’s death from COVID-19 is covered by the workers’ compensation program in your state.
States like California have adopted a rebuttable presumption stating that certain employees who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work, strictly for workers’ compensation purposes. However, majority of states in the U.S. have not adopted this program and instead deny claims that employees contracted the virus in the workplace.
How Do I Know if I Have a Legal Case for COVID-19?
There are two main factors that can help you determine whether you have a legal case involving COVID-19 in the workplace. These include:
- You were denied access to proper protection equipment
- You were given false information about the safety of the workplace and the likelihood of contracting the virus
Both of these instances demonstrate a great deal of negligence which has already impacted so many people throughout the country.