May 7, 2020
Can Medical Providers File for Workers’ Compensation for Contracting COVID-19?
While some states are honoring workers’ compensation claims related to the contraction of COVID-19, others, including Georgia, have certain laws that have many people unsure about whether they can claim benefits due to coronavirus.
This is one question that rings especially true for healthcare workers, who are performing their jobs on the frontlines of the pandemic and are some of the most susceptible to contracting the disease.
Exposure Laws and Medical Workers
In Georgia, you are covered by workers’ compensation benefits related to occupational diseases if it is shown that that the disease is not one that you could have substantially been exposed outside of work.
It’s true that any worker or anyone in the general public has a possibility of contracting COVID-19. However, medical providers are treating those with the virus or those who most likely have the virus. This doesn’t just mean there is near certainty of coming into contact with the virus, but a likelihood of contracting it from work.
As a medical worker, you may be told that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, it’s important to remember that claims for workers’ compensation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Your Employer’s Responsibility
By law, all employers in Georgia have a specific responsibility to provide you with a hazard-free work environment and take the precautions needed to ensure that you and other employees remain safe.
However, thousands of healthcare workers putting their lives at work by providing medical care to patients with COVID-19 without the recommended protections needed to stay safe, including proper masks, eyeglasses, and gowns. A recent article from the New York Times referred to this situation as “dire” and likened it to fighting “a war with no ammo.”
If your employer failed to provide you with the protective equipment you needed to provide medical care to COVID-19 patients, you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits as a healthcare worker.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Medical workers should not be left with expenses simply by doing their jobs in a time when the public needs them the most. If you contracted COVID-19 as a healthcare worker, please don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Offices of Nathanial F. Hansford for legal assistance. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits based on the conditions of your work environment.
In many cases, getting the proper benefits is simply the matter of hiring a seasoned attorney who is able to prove your claim. Our attorneys will work hard to help prove how you may have contracted the virus and fight for your rights to maximum benefits.
Contact our firm at (770) 741-2825 to get started with a free consultation. We are also offering phone and video consultations in place of in-person meetings.