Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 & Workers' Compensation
Will I receive workers’ compensation if I contracted COVID-19 on the job?
Government workers in Florida who contract COVID-19 will be covered under the workers’ compensation system, and should therefore consider filing a claim. If you work in the private sector and you can prove you contracted COVID-19 in the workplace or as a result of your work, it is best to seek legal counsel to explore your options. Keep in mind that in all cases, a proper diagnosis, or a positive COVID-19 test, will be of great help to you when filing your claim.
How do I file a claim?
Your first and the most important step in filing a workers’ compensation claim is to notify your employer as soon as possible and within 30 days. It is better if you notify your employer through some written form, such as e-mail or text. Identifying witnesses is helpful as well. We suggest that after notifying your supervisor, you then file a first report of injury with your employer and their insurance company.
Will I be covered by workers’ compensation if I have contracted COVID-19 due to work-related travel?
In general, COVID-19 exposure cases are difficult to prove under workers’ compensation, especially with all of the current social distancing regulations in place. In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must have evidence that your employment led to a very high COVID-19 exposure rate. For example, if you are an ambulance driver with proven exposure to COVID-19 positive patients, you might be eligible.
If I am working from home and I get hurt, can I file a claim?
It is very difficult to receive workers’ compensation if you are working from home. In order for an injury or illness to be eligible for workers compensation, the accident must arise from an activity directly related to your job. Burning yourself while making coffee at home is unlikely to be covered by the workers’ compensation system.
If my employer has closed their business, what is the impact on my workers’ compensation claim?
Generally, employers carry a separate insurance policy that should continue its obligations after your place of employment closes down. In other words, you should still be able to receive compensation. Issues may arise due to the complexity associated with the coronavirus pandemic, so it is important to seek legal advice if you are led to believe that your workers’ compensation is being threatened.
How can a COVID-19 related case be worth more?
A case could be worth more money depending on the settlement value, especially if there are long-term medical issues after you contacted COVID-19. The value of your case depends on two components: medical treatment and loss of wages. This calculates the total cost of your COVID-19 treatments and how much money you may have lost from being out of work. Complications of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and ventilation, can increase the value of your case.
What precautions are law firms and judges’ offices taking at this time?
At the moment, judges’ offices in workers’ compensation are doing telephonic and video hearings, along with video depositions. Here at the Coye Law Firm, we value our clients’ safety and health highly. For this reason, we have also switched over many of our operations to virtual sessions. We adopted a cloud based system for telephonic and video conferences, along with online filing, far before the pandemic even began. All of the documents you may need to complete with us can be signed electronically through e-mail or text. In addition, we even recently adopted a system for electronic notarizing. If your law firm is not taking extra precautions to keep you safe while filing your claim, give us a call today.
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