With the threat to public health posed by COVID-19, and with the ever-increasing rate of infections, it’s easy to see why health professionals would worry about workers’ compensation, especially when they are exposed to the virus on a daily basis.
It’s important to determine who is entitled to a workers’ compensation benefit, as treatment for COVID-19 can be expensive. Read on to learn whether health and fitness professionals are entitled to workers’ compensation in the case of a COVID-19 infection.
The Basic Elements of a Claim
The primary determinant of whether or not an individual is entitled to a workers’ compensation claim is if their particular claim exhibits the following elements:
Time – An injured worker must file a complaint within three years from the time that the injured worker becomes aware of the disease or when a possible relationship between the disease and employment is discovered.
Employment – An injured worker must be an employee of an institution. Independent contractors and the employees of independent contractors are usually not covered by a workers’ compensation benefit. There are, however, some instances when their contracts might need to be reviewed in order to determine their eligibility.
Injury – The medical worker must be able to establish a medical condition that is connected to the exposure. The time, place, and manner in which the injury or condition was sustained yields great probative value and should always be highlighted with a medical certificate. The medical report must also establish a link between the conditions and the injury sustained.
Performance of Duty – The injury must have occurred during the worker’s performance of duty, which means that the work setting, locale, time, and circumstances must have been influenced by the worker’s employment..
Causal Relationship – This refers to the link between the work-related exposure and the medical condition revealed by the medical examination. This relationship can either be:
- Direct – The incident was the direct cause of the injury
- Aggravating – The incident worsened a pre-existing injury
- Accelerating – The incident hastened the worsening of an injury
- Precipitating – The incident caused a latent condition
The Bottom Line
According to a North Myrtle Beach work injury lawyer, medical workers are generally entitled to a workers’ compensation benefit. However, this varies between states. Some states require that a claimant must establish a direct causal relationship between the occupation and the condition. In the case of medical workers who are battling COVID-19 on a daily basis, the risk of exposure is extremely high, and it’s very likely that they are entitled to a workers’ compensation benefit.
This also applies to other services that aren’t directly exposed to the virus, but have a risk of contracting the virus, such as fitness trainers for when people start going back to the gym.
As with all things related to legal matters, it’s always important to seek assistance from lawyers to help you. Lawyers have the training and experience to handle these cases, along with internal knowledge and connections that help further a claim. With this said, we hope this information aids you, and it also helps give our medical workers a semblance of reassurance that aid will be given to them.