Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim If I Contract COVID-19 At Work?
Looking for a workers’ comp lawyer near me to answer your questions about COVID-19 and workers’ compensation? First and foremost, it’s important to understand the rules around COVID-19 and workers’ compensation claims in the state of Ohio.
Here in Ohio, the coronavirus is not considered a “scheduled” occupational disease. There is a provision in the Ohio Revised Code (Section 4123.68) that lists specific diseases that are compensable. For example, pneumoconiosis (otherwise known as coal miner’s black lung disease) is considered compensable. If a worker is diagnosed with one of the “scheduled” diseases, and it is clear that their job caused contact with the substance that caused the disease, it can be presumed that the job caused the disease to form.
If you have questions about a specific illness at your workplace, a workers’ comp lawyer near me may be able to help analyze your specific situation and offer recommendations.
COVID-19 And Workers’ Compensation | Ohio Law
The Ohio law regarding workers’ compensation and workplace illness also states that a disease that is defined as an “occupational disease” is compensable. Let’s break down what this means. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) says that to receive compensation:
- There has been repeated work-related exposure to something that can cause illness.
- The repeated exposure has a harmful effect on the worker.
- There is a direct causal relationship between the exposures and the harmful effect experienced by the worker, which is confirmed by medical evidence.
- The worker’s job in some way creates a greater hazard of being harmed (contracting the disease) than the risk encountered by the general public.
In addition, the Bureau also says that most of the time a communal disease like COVID-19 is not regarded as a workers’ compensation claim. This is because individuals who contract coronavirus can be exposed in a variety of ways, and it’s extremely difficult to trace back to the workplace. There are also very few jobs that have an increased risk of exposure that is different from being among the general public.
If you have specific questions about workers’ comp claims, a workers’ comp lawyer near me can help. It’s also important to note that if you do work in a job with a special risk of contracting COVID-19 from work, the Bureau could allow your claim.
Establish A Claim | Workers’ Comp Lawyer Near Me
In order to establish an Ohio Workers’ compensation claim after contracting COVID-19, you have to show that you were exposed to the virus at work and that your workplace created a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than the average member of society.
In terms of legal proof and evidence, this is not always simple or straightforward. That’s why seeking advice from a workers’ comp lawyer near me is extremely important and beneficial for your claim. The attorneys near me at Marshall Grinder Debski Pitts Law Firm are experienced in providing legal counsel and advice for workers’ compensation claims, and they can help you navigate the system without feeling overwhelmed.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
As mentioned, the workers’ compensation process is complicated and varies on a case-by-case basis. The best thing you can do is talk with a workers’ comp lawyer near me, who will take the time to understand your situation and give you informed legal advice.
There is some foundational knowledge to workers’ compensation that it is important to understand. Workers’ compensation is a set of laws that mandate benefits a worker will receive if he or she is seriously injured at the workplace. Most states require that businesses with employees have workers’ compensation insurance in case of injury. Filing for workers’ compensation is similar to filing an insurance claim in many cases.
A workers’ comp lawyer near me can give an assessment of your case to see if they believe you qualify for compensation or not. Generally, if you are injured while working, you should qualify for benefits. However, there is no guarantee you will receive benefits. Some states deny claims for agricultural workers, and some states deny claims if the worker is intoxicated while injured.
Regardless of your situation, it always helps to have professional representation from a workers’ comp lawyer near me. When you discuss your claim with attorneys near me, you will fully understand your rights. Here at Marshall Grinder Debski Pitts Law Firm, we offer free initial consultations with no obligation, so you won’t waste any time pursuing the benefits you are owed.
Some claimants decide to hire a lawyer as soon as the injury occurs. Other injured workers contact an attorney if conflict arises with their employer, or the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. They may also hire a lawyer if there were other parties involved in the injury. Every situation is different; we just want our clients to know that we are here to help.
About Marshall Grinder Debski Pitts Law Firm
For more than 40 years, the Marshall Grinder Debski Pitts Law Firm has served the Northeast Ohio area with professional legal services. We focus on cases involving workers’ compensation, social security, veteran’s benefits, and evaluation of all legal matters. When you need a workers’ comp lawyer near me, you can rely on us.
We understand that workers’ compensation is confusing. In stressful situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, illness can be a serious, life-changing event when it comes to work and livelihood. We want our clients to know that we are here to help and provide the support you need. Do not hesitate to give us a call, and set up your consultation today.