There are not many facets of the American lifestyle that COVID-19 has not touched. The pandemic has especially put into perspective just how and where we do our jobs. Some jobs allow for workers to stay at home and shelter in place, but for many workers, their physical presence is needed to keep the economic machines churning.
As we know by now, workers being physically present offers extended risks to a worker’s health. Contracting COVID at work can be tough to determine and even harder to litigate in a workers’ compensation case. If you or a loved one needs help untangling a tricky claim, contact Cleveland workers compensation attorneys at Paulozzi LPA.
Hardships like injury, sickness, and even death can occur in the workplace. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers and their dependents by benefiting the employee and employer alike. An employee receives money and medical benefits but forfeits the right to sue their employer. By accepting limited liability, the employer is immune from court actions against them.
However, workers’ compensation laws are complicated. Often, the benefits given to employees fall short or are completely denied. This can be the situation with COVID workers’ compensation cases.
Under Ohio law, COVID-19 can be compensable as an occupational disease, but repeated exposure to the disease at work must be confirmed by a medical diagnosis, and work conditions must create a greater hazard to the employee than the public.
COVID-19 can also be compensable as an accidental injury if COVID-19 is contracted while an employee is engaged in work activities. It all comes down to causation, and the employee must prove a link between the work and exposure to COVID.
Causation is not easy to determine because COVID-19 is and has been so widespread amongst the general population. Contracting the virus is significantly higher in some professions. Making a clear connection is more evident in jobs like:
Assuming medical documentation has been established, workers’ claims in these types of jobs are more likely to be found compensable.
You can expect the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to either deny or lower the amount it must pay on your compensation claim. You can also expect an attorney for your employer or an insurance company to contact you for a deposition. You should be prepared to retain your own representation because it is difficult to get fair compensation on your own.
You should contact a lawyer immediately if:
Cleveland’s workers’ compensation attorneys at Paulozzi LPA are here to protect the rights of workers and make sure you get the maximum number of benefits you are entitled to. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 888-710-0040.